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Drugs R D. 2004;5(6):363-7.

Temsirolimus: CCI 779, CCI-779, cell cycle inhibitor-779.

[No authors listed]


Wyeth (formerly American Home Products) is developing temsirolimus [Cell cycle inhibitor-779, CCI 779], an ester analogue of sirolimus, for the treatment of cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Temsirolimus binds to the cytosolic protein, FKBP, which subsequently inhibits mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). Inhibition of mTOR blocks a number of signal transduction pathways that suppress translation of several key proteins regulating the cell cycle. These effects lead to a cell cycle block at the G1 phase. In animal models of human cancers, temsirolimus inhibited the growth of a diverse range of cancer types even when an intermittent dosing schedule was used. The compound also appears to have potential for the blockade of inflammatory responses associated with autoimmune and rheumatic diseases by inhibiting T-cell proliferation. On 11 March 2002, American Home Products changed its name and the name of its subsidiary Wyeth-Ayerst to Wyeth. During the first half of 2004, Wyeth initiated ongoing recruitment into a US phase III trial comparing orally administered temsirolimus plus letrozole versus letrozole alone as first-line treatment among approximately 1200 postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer. The multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is estimated to last 34 months. All subjects will have the option of participating in the long-term follow-up phase of the trial that involves follow-up every 3 months until disease progression; the primary endpoint is overall progression-free survival. In August 2004, the US FDA granted temsirolimus fast-track status for the first-line treatment of poor-prognosis patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. Previously in March 2002, temsirolimus received fast-track status from the FDA for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma in patients who failed to respond to interleukin-2 treatment. Wyeth intends to file a NDA for temsirolimus for this indication by 2006. Researchers from Wyeth presented the findings from a preclinical study of temsirolimus at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology and the 38th Annual Meeting Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP-2003) [Orlando, FL, USA; October 2003]. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of temsirolimus on lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production. Since lymphocytes and cytokines are significantly involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, temsirolimus could have disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) activity against rheumatoid arthritis via the inhibition of these factors. According to Wyeth's investor presentation in June 2004, the patent covering temsirolimus is due for expiry in 2014.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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