April 14, 2009 -- An experimental drug called AMG 479 shows promise against
That news comes from researchers at Amgen, the drug company developing AMG
AMG 479 is a biologic drug that targets insulin-like growth factor
(IGF) type 1 receptors.
"We know that insulin-like growth factors play a role in cancer development,
particularly in mediating cell survival," Amgen's Pedro Beltran, PhD, states in
a news release from the American Association of Cancer Research.
In lab tests, AMG 479 did what it was supposed to do -- target insulin-like
growth receptors on pancreatic cancer cells without hampering insulin.
"This is the first drug that specifically targets the receptor for these
growth factors without cross-reacting with the closely related insulin
receptor," Beltran states.
In other experiments, AMG 479 curbed the growth of human pancreatic tumors
grafted onto mice by up to 80%, and using AMG 479 and the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine thwarted pancreatic
Beltran's team reports the results from those experiments in Molecular
AMG 479 is being studied in pancreatic cancer patients; results aren't in
from that study yet.