IPI-926 investigated by TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare as a potential treatment for rare and uniformly fatal cancer of the cartilage

PHOENIX, Ariz. - June 13, 2011 - Arizona Oncology, in cooperation with Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials in Scottsdale, Ariz., is enrolling patients in a randomized, double-blind Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of IPI-926 compared to placebo in patients with metastatic or locally advanced, inoperable chondrosarcoma.

The study is being coordinated by Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials in Scottsdale, Ariz., a partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare that treats cancer patients with promising new drugs through clinical trials.

IPI-926, an inhibitor of the Hedgehog pathway, was discovered and is being developed by Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass.

Research suggests the Hedgehog signaling pathway, a series of chemical reactions within a cell, may play a role in the development of different types of cancer, including chondrosarcoma, a rare, life-threatening cancer of the cartilage.

The trial, which is the first of its kind to be done in chondrosarcoma, is expected to enroll more than 100 patients.

There are currently no approved chemotherapy options for this disease and, when surgery is not possible, chondrosarcoma is uniformly fatal. In nonclinical studies presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2011 Annual Meeting, IPI-926 treatment inhibited both the Hedgehog pathway and tumor growth in mice with chondrosarcoma.

In the U.S., chondrosarcoma accounts for approximately one-third of the 2,000 cases of primary bone cancer diagnosed each year. The most common locations for chondrosarcoma tumors are the bones of the extremities and the pelvis. Symptoms associated with chondrosarcoma depend upon the size and location of the tumor and often include pain that increases in severity over time, localized swelling and decreased range of motion in joints near the affected bone.

As chondrosarcomas are largely resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the standard therapeutic strategy is surgery. For patients with metastatic disease or with locally advanced tumors who are not candidates for surgery, no treatment has been shown to be effective and there is no established standard of care.

"We are encouraged by the Phase 1 trial of IPI-926. In the Phase 1 trial, IPI-926 was well tolerated and showed anti-tumor activity in patients with solid tumors," said Mahesh Seetharam, M.D., medical oncologist, Arizona Oncology. "We are pleased to be part of this study, as well as other clinical trials that give new hope for rare cancers. Patients who participate in these trials are followed very carefully and may benefit, especially when no other treatment options are available."

Dr. Seetharam provides comprehensive cancer care as part of the Arizona Oncology network, which treats more cancer patients than any other cancer care provider in the state of Arizona. Dr. Seetharam also works closely with Virginia G. Piper Cancer Clinical Trials and has access to more than 30 Phase 1 investigational agents through the partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare.

Arizona Oncology is affiliated with US Oncology, giving patients access to brand new treatments and state-of-the-art technology. In addition, patients have access to the latest research and clinical trials through both the Arizona Oncology and US Oncology networks.

Individuals seeking information about eligibility to participate in clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare may contact the cancer care coordinator at 480-323-1339, toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or via email at [email protected] or visit clinicaltrials.gov.

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About Arizona Oncology
Arizona Oncology is the largest group of medical professionals in Arizona devoted exclusively to cancer care. With more than 50 practicing physicians, we serve patients at more than 24 locations throughout Arizona, including Cottonwood, Deer Valley, Flagstaff, Glendale, Green Valley, Marana, Nogales, Oro Valley, Phoenix, Prescott Valley, Safford, Scottsdale, Sedona, Sierra Vista and Tucson. We are proud to provide comprehensive, compassionate, cancer care in a patient-focused, cost effective, community-based setting. Arizona Oncology provides patients with access to the latest treatments, state-of-the-art technology and access to cutting edge nationwide research and clinical trials. We believe it is beneficial when these therapies are provided in a community setting, close to patients' home and your support system. Our physicians are supported by talented clinical staff members who are sensitive to the needs of cancer patients and their caregivers. For more information, please visit www.ArizonaOncology.com.

About The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, Ariz. offers comprehensive cancer care and research through Phase I clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists. Scottsdale Healthcare is the nonprofit parent organization of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
[email protected]

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