ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals announced on March 26th, 2009 through online publication in the journal Leukemia, about the ability of omacetaxine to kill leukemic stem cells in mouse models with drug-resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

The findings of this study provide new insights into the problem of minimal residual disease and may open the door to the development of a curative treatment strategy for some patients with CML.

According to the study leader Dr. Shaoguang Li, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, omacetaxine killed 90% of the leukemic stem cells in vitro. In contrast, imatinib and dasatinib, the two leading CML drugs, only controlled 9% and 25% of these cancer stem cells, respectively. Scientists further demonstrated that omacetaxine prolonged survival in test animals carrying the T315I mutation, which would normally render them resistant to all currently available drugs.

ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical development company dedicated to improving the lives of patients by developing personalized oncology medicines.

ChemGenex is currently developing omacetaxine as a potential treatment for a range of blood malignancies, including CML, and is completing a pivotal study in CML patients who harbor the T315I mutation. The company expects to complete its filing of a New Drug Application for use of omacetaxine in that patient population to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by mid-year.

This new study report help Chemgenex shares jumped 12 Australian cents, or 26 percent, to 59 cents, the most since August 2003. The stock has gained 90 percent in the past month, after reaching a five-and-a-half-year low of 31 cents on Feb. 25.

According to Chemgenex, The findings may open the door to the development of a curative treatment strategy for some patients.

Source: Reuters