Telik's sensitive situation

With maturing Phase II cancer data in hand for its TLK286, Telik Inc. is preparing to start Phase III trials in advanced ovarian cancer in the first quarter next year. The company believes that TLK286's mechanism makes it particularly amenable to chemotherapy-resistant tumors, thus providing the potential for a single agent salvage therapy.

TLK286 is a small molecule that is activated by glutathione S-transferase (GST) P1-1, which is highly expressed in most cancers. Levels of the enzyme become even higher following chemotherapy, and are thought to contribute to resistance to such drugs. "Tumors that don't respond to a standard agent may become more resistant to chemotherapy but more sensitive to our compound," said Gail Brown, senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Once activated, two fragments of TLK286

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