Here's more evidence that linking targeting antibodies with cancer-killing drugs can pack a powerful one-two punch against tumors. This "armed antibody" drug due to be submitted (again) for regulatory approval in mid-2012. T-DM1 has been shining in clinical trials involving women with breast cancer for years, but the FDA handed back Swiss drug giant Roche's application for approval of the drug in August 2010. That application was made with promising Phase II data on the treatment, but regulators apparently want to see results from larger studies underway.
T-DM1 is truly a two-pronged weapon against breast tumors. It uses linker technology from Waltham, MA-based ImmunoGen ($IMGN) to equip Roche's Herceptin, an antibody that binds to HER2-expressing breast tumors, with a cell-killing agent known as DM1. This enables the antibody to home in on the cancer target and deliver the cell-killing agent into tumor cells.
Preliminary data released in October from a 137-patient Phase II study showed that 47.8 percent of breast cancer patients on T-DM1 had a confirmed objective response on T-DM1, compared with 41.4 percent who were taking a combination of Herceptin and a chemotherapy drug, taxane.