Mersana Therapeutics Reports Phase I Results for XMT-1001 in Patients with Solid Tumors at AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference

    - favorable pharmacokinetic and safety data observed in first clinical
    trial of novel Fleximer(TM) anticancer agent -

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 24 /CNW/ -- Mersana, a cancer therapeutics
company, announced interim results of a Phase I study of its lead product
candidate, XMT-1001, in patients with advanced solid tumors. The data was
presented by Edward A. Sausville, M.D., Ph.D, Professor of Medicine and
Associate Director for Clinical Research, University of Maryland Greenebaum
Cancer Center in a poster session on October 23 at the 2007 AACR-NCI-EORTC
International Conference on Molecular Targets and Therapeutics taking place in
San Francisco, CA.  Full text of the abstract #A146 "A Phase I Study of the
Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of Intravenous XMT-1001 in Patients
with Advanced Solid Tumors" can be viewed online at the AACR website at XMT-1001 is a polymer-based prodrug of camptothecin
(CPT), a well-characterized topoisomerase I inhibitor with potent anti-tumor
    Commenting on the data, Robert J. Fram, M.D. Chief Medical Officer at
Mersana, stated:  "The Phase I results show that, in humans, camptothecin, the
active agent in XMT-1001, is released gradually from the Fleximer carrier as a
pro-drug in a manner that will potentially avoid common safety problems
associated with drugs in this class.  To date, we've seen no evidence of
drug-related serious adverse events and the study is ongoing."
    Results were presented from 12 patients enrolled in an ongoing Phase I
open-label, dose-escalation trial designed to determine the safety,
tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile of XMT-1001. To date, XMT-1001 has
been well tolerated in patients and no serious drug related adverse events
have been reported.  Preliminary results demonstrate a favorable
pharmacokinetic profile with low levels of CPT, both total and free, recovered
in urine.  The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) has not been reached and the study
continues to accrue patients.
    "Our Fleximer nanotechnology platform is designed to create proprietary
new drugs from existing and novel pharmaceutical compounds," said Julie Olson,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Mersana.  "We are pleased to note
that in the Phase I study, our proprietary Fleximer-controlled drug release
system achieved results consistent with our objective of extending the
half-life of the camptothecin analog while avoiding safety concerns. The
favorable pharmacokinetic and safety data are consistent with results from
preclinical studies of XMT-1001," she concluded.
    About XMT-1001
    XMT-1001 is Mersana's most advanced Fleximer(TM)-based product candidate.
It utilizes a novel, dual release mechanism to liberate a camptothecin
prodrug, which is then converted within cells into camptothecin, a DNA
topoisomerase I inhibitor.  In preclinical studies, XMT-1001 was better
tolerated and more efficacious than either camptothecin or irinotecan in
models of human cancer, showing extended plasma half-life and high
concentrations in tumor tissue.
    About Fleximer
    Mersana is transforming oncology product development by creating new
drugs from anti-cancer agents through application of its Fleximer
nanotechnology platform.  Fleximer is a novel, biodegradable and bio-inert
polymer that can be chemically linked to drugs, including small chemical
entities, peptides and biologics.  Fleximer-based compounds can be
individually designed to improve the therapeutic performance of drugs by
modulating such properties as circulation time and site of release, while
significantly improving toxicity profiles.
    About Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.
    Mersana, a privately held, venture backed company, utilizes its
proprietary nanotechnology platform to transform existing and experimental
anti-cancer agents into new, patentable drugs with superior pharmaceutical
properties.  The key component of Mersana's platform is Fleximer(TM), a novel,
biodegradable and bio-inert material that can be chemically linked to small
molecules and biologics.  Mersana's pipeline includes XMT-1001, a
Fleximer-camptothecin conjugate, which is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials
and several preclinical stage oncology compounds.  Mersana's investors include
Fidelity Biosciences, ProQuest Investments, Rho Ventures, Harris & Harris
Group and PureTech Ventures.
    Fleximer is a trademark of Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.

For further information:

For further information: Pete Leone, Chief Operating Officer, Mersana 
Therapeutics, Inc., +1-617-498-0020, Media, Kathryn Morris, KmorrisPR, 
+1-845-635-9828,, for Mersana Therapeutics, Inc. Web

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