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Title:
TREATMENT OF DISEASES BY SUBCUTANEOUS ADMINISTRATION OF A VEGF ANTAGONIST
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/022101
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A method of reducing or preventing hypertension associated with administration of a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonist in a human subjects suffering from a disease or condition treatable with a VEGF antagonist in which is it desirable to reduce or prevent hypertension, wherein a VEGF antagonist is to be administered subcutaneously. The method is particularly useful for treatment of patients unresponsive to treatment with a VEGF inhibitor administered intravenously.

Inventors:
STAHL NEIL (US)
YANCOPOULOS GEORGE D (US)
FURFINE ERIC (US)
CEDARBAUM JESSE M (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2006/031681
Publication Date:
February 22, 2007
Filing Date:
August 11, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
REGENERON PHARMA (US)
STAHL NEIL (US)
YANCOPOULOS GEORGE D (US)
FURFINE ERIC (US)
CEDARBAUM JESSE M (US)
International Classes:
A61K38/17; A61P9/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2005000895A22005-01-06
WO1998028006A11998-07-02
WO2005123104A22005-12-29
Foreign References:
US20030144298A12003-07-31
Other References:
See references of EP 1917024A2
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREGG, Valeta (Inc. 777 Old Saw Mill River Roa, Tarrytown NY, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. Use of a first vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonist in the manufacture of a medicament for reducing hypertension associated with administration of a VEGF antagonist, wherein treatment is by subcutaneous administration to a human subject suffering from a disease or condition treatable with a VEGF antagonist in which it is desirable to minimize an increase in blood pressure.

2. The use according to claim 1 , wherein the VEGF antagonist comprises VEGFR1 R2-FcδC1 (a) (SEQ ID NO:4).

3. The use of claim 1 or 2, wherein a second agent is given with the first VEGF antagonist.

4. The use according to claim 3, wherein the second agent is an anti-hypertensive agent.

5. The use according to claim 4, wherein the anti-hypertensive agent is administered simultaneously or sequentially.

6. The use according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the disease or condition is selected from the group consisting of cancer, diabetes, vascular permeability, edema, ascites and pleural effusion associated with tumors, inflammation or trauma, chronic airway inflammation, capillary leak syndrome, sepsis kidney disease associated with increased leakage of protein, eye disorders, and abnormal angiogenesis.

7. The use according to claim 7, wherein the human subject is over 65 years of age or is a patient who cannot otherwise be treated with an appropriate dose of the VEGF antagonist without developing hypertension.

3. A method of treatment, comprising:

(a) identifying a patient as a non-responder with respect to the intravenous administration of a first agent vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonist;

(b) administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a VEGF antagonist by subcutaneous administration;

(c) monitoring the patient's blood pressure during and after the subcutaneous administration )f the VEGF antagonist; and

(d) repeatedly administering the VEGF antagonist by subcutaneous administration, iptionally administering a second agent.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the VEGF antagonist is as defined in claim 2.

10. The method of claim 8 or 9, wherein the second agent is as defined in claim 4.

Description:

Methods of Treating Diseases with a VEGF Antagonist

BACKGROUND Field of the Invention

[0001] The field of the invention is related to therapeutic methods of treating diseases in a human subject with a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonist such that side effects, such as an increase in blood pressure, are minimized. The patient population to be treated is a population in which it is desirable to minimize an increase in blood pressure.

Description of Related Art

[0002] Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been recognized as a primary stimulus of angiogenesis in pathological conditions. Approaches to methods of blocking VEGF include soluble receptor constructs, antisense molecules, RNA aptamers, and antibodies. See, for example, PCT

WO/0075319, for a description of VEGF-receptor based trap antagonists.

[0003] Hypertension has been reported at increased frequency and severity in subjects receiving the anti-VEGF humanized monoclonal antibody, bevacizumab (Hurwitz, et al, (2004) N. Engl. J.

Med. 350:2335-42).

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] In one aspect, the invention features a method of reducing hypertension associated with administration of a vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) antagonist, comprising administering the VEGF antagonist subcutaneously to a human subject in which it is desirable to minimize an increase in blood pressure.

[0005] More specifically, studies described below demonstrate that the increases in systolic and diasystolic blood pressure associated with intravenous administration of VEGF antagonists is largely eliminated by subcutaneous administration. The method of the invention is particularly useful for patients in which prevention of hypertension is desirable.

[0006] The method of the invention is useful with any VEGF antagonist which is associated with an increase in blood pressure when administered to a patient. In one embodiment, the VEGF antagonist is a high affinity fusion protein dimer (or "trap") comprising a fusion polypeptide having an immunoglobulin-like (Ig) domain 2 of the VEGF receptor FItI and Ig domain 3 of the VEGF receptor FIkI or Flt4, and a multimerizing component. Even more specifically, the VEGF antagonist comprises a fusion polypeptide selected from the group consisting of Flt1 D2.Flk1 D3.FcδC1(a) (SEQ ID NOs:1-2), VEGFR1 R2-FcδC1(a) (SEQ ID NOs:3-4), or a functional equivalent thereof. Functionally equivalent molecules include dimeric proteins comprised of two fusion polypeptides which are expressed in a mammalian host cell and contain post-translational modification such as glycosylation, truncation of C-terminal lysine and/or signal

peptide, etc.

[0007] In one aspect of the invention a "non-responder" patient is treated by subcutaneous administration of a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonist administered in a therapeutically effective amount and repeatedly administered over a therapeutically effective period of time. In accordance with the present invention the "non-responders" include individuals in need of treatment with a VEGF antagonist but when treated could not have sufficient amounts of the VEGF antagonist administered intravenously to be effective in that the administration of such caused and undesirable peak in the patient's blood pressure. Accordingly, such non- responders include those which initially suffer from high blood pressure which is not sufficiently controlled such that increasing that blood pressure would create a medical risk to the patient's health and further includes those patient's with normal blood pressure or blood pressure which is controlled within normal levels but when treated with a VEGF antagonist have their blood pressure rise to levels which create a medical risk to the patient.

[0008] Diseases and/or conditions, or recurrences thereof, which are ameliorated, inhibited, or reduced by treatment with a VEGF inhibitor are encompassed by the method of the invention. Such conditions include, for example, cancer, diabetes, vascular permeability, edema, or inflammation such as brain edema associated with injury, stroke, or tumor, edema associated with inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis or arthritis, asthma, edema associated with burns, ascites and pleural effusion associated with tumors, inflammation or trauma, chronic airway inflammation, capillary leak syndrome, sepsis kidney disease associated with increased leakage of protein, eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, abnormal angiogenesis such as polycystic ovary disease, endometriosis and endometrial carcinoma. A VEGF inhibitor may also be used to induce regression or reduction of the size of an existing tumor or metastatic cancer; diabetes, decrease tumor neovascularization, improve transplant corneal survival time, inhibit corneal transplant rejection or corneal lympangiogenesis and angiogenesis. [0009] A subject to be treated is preferably a subject with one of the above-listed conditions who suffers from hypertension, is at risk for development of hypertension or in which the prevention or inhibition of hypertension is desirable, e.g., a subject at risk for cardiovascular disease, a subject over 65 years of age, or a patient who cannot otherwise be treated with an appropriate dose of the VEGF antagonist without developing hypertension.

[0010] In a second aspect, the invention features a method of preventing the development of hypertension during treatment with a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor in a patient at risk thereof, comprising administering a VEGF antagonist by subcutaneous injection to the patient.

[0011] Other objects and advantages will become apparent from a review of the ensuing detailed description.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0013] Before the present methods and compositions are described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to particular methods, and experimental conditions described, as such methods and conditions may vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting, since the scope of the present invention will be limited only by the appended claims.

[0014] As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus for example, a reference to "a method" includes one or more methods, and/or steps of the type described herein and/or which will become apparent to those persons skilled in the art upon reading this disclosure and so forth.

[0015] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, the preferred methods and materials are now described.

General Description

[0016] In the normal mammal, blood pressure is strictly controlled by a complex system of physiological factors. This is important for survival because high blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to a number of adverse medical events and conditions, such as, for example, stroke, acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, and renal failure. Studies show that VEGF transiently dilates coronary arteries in vitro (Ku et. al. (1993) Am J Physiol 265:H585-H592) and induces hypotension (Yang et. al. (1996) J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 27:838-844). Methods for treating eclampsia and preemclampsia are known, for example, US patent application publication 2003/0220262, WO 98/28006, WO 00/13703, which describes a method for treating hypertension comprising administering to a patient an effective amount of an angiogenic factor such as VEGF, or an agonist thereof. US patent application publication 2003/0144298 shows that administration of high levels of a VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor leads to a sustained increase in blood pressure in rats when administered chronically.

VEGF Antagonists and VEGF-Specific Fusion Polypeptide traps

[0017] The method of the invention may be used with any VEGF antagonist which is associated with an increase in blood pressure when administered to a subject. In a preferred embodiment, the VEGF antagonist is a dimeric protein capable of binding VEGF with high affinity composed of two receptor-Fc fusion polypeptides consisting of the principal ligand-binding portions of the human VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 receptor extracellular domains fused to the Fc portion of human IgGI (the

"VEGF trap"). Specifically, the VEGF "trap" consists of Ig domain 2 from VEGFR1 , which is fused to Ig domain 3 from VEGFR2, which in turn is fused to the Fc domain of IgGI . [0018] In a preferred embodiment, an expression plasmid encoding the VEGF trap is transfected into CHO cells, which secrete VEGF trap into the culture medium. The resulting VEGF trap is a dimeric glycoprotein with a protein molecular weight of 97 kDa and contains ~15% glycosylation to give a total molecular weight of 115 kDa. The fusion polypeptides forming the dimer are posttranslationally modified by glycosylation at one or more Asn residues and/or removal of the terminal Lys.

[0019] Since the VEGF trap binds its ligands using the binding domains of high-affinity receptors, it has a greater affinity for VEGF than do monoclonal antibodies. The VEGF trap binds VEGF-A (K 0 = 1.5 pM), PLGF1 (K D = 1.3 nM), and PLGF2 (K 0 = 50 pM); binding to other VEGF family members has not yet been fully characterized.

Treatment Population

[0020] A human subject preferably treated by the method described herein is a subject in which it is desirable to prevent or reduce one or more side effects resulting from treatment with an anti- angiogenic agent, such as hypertension, proteinuria. Particularly preferred subjects are those suffering from hypertension, over 65 years of age, or subjects in which reduction of or prevention of undesirable side effects allows an optimal therapeutic dose of the anti-angiogenic agent to be used which otherwise could not be used without placing the subject at risk for an adverse medical event. Patients suffering from renal cell carcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, advanced breast cancer, colorectal cancer, malignant mesothelioma, multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, or melanoma may be treated with the combined therapeutics of the invention. Diseases and/or conditions, or recurrences thereof, which are ameliorated, inhibited, or reduced by treatment with the combined therapeutics of the invention include cancer, diabetes, vascular permeability, edema, or inflammation such as brain edema associated with injury, stroke, or tumor, edema associated with inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis or arthritis, asthma, edema associated with burns, ascites and pleural effusion associated with tumors, inflammation or trauma, chronic airway inflammation, capillary leak syndrome, sepsis kidney disease associated with increased leakage of protein, eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, abnormal angiogenesis such as polycystic ovary disease, entometriosis and endometrial carcinoma. A VEGF inhibitor may also be used to induce regression or reduction of the size of an existing tumor or metastatic cancer; diabetes, decrease tumor neovascularization, improve transplant corneal survival time, inhibit corneal transplant rejection or corneal lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis.

Combination Therapies

[00231] In numerous embodiments, a VEGF antagonist may be administered in combination with

one or more additional compounds or therapies, including a second VEGF antagonist molecule and/or an antihypertensive agent. Combination therapy includes administration of a single pharmaceutical dosage formulation which contains a VEGF antagonist and one or more additional agents; as well as administration of a VEGF antagonist and one or more additional agent(s) in its own separate pharmaceutical dosage formulation. For example, a VEGF antagonist and a cytotoxic agent, a chemotherapeutic agent or a growth inhibitory agent can be administered to the patient together in a single dosage composition such as a combined formulation, or each agent can be administered in a separate dosage formulation. Where separate dosage formulations are used, the VEGF-specific fusion protein of the invention and one or more additional agents can be administered concurrently, or at separately staggered times, i.e., sequentially. [0022] The term "cytotoxic agent" as used herein refers to a substance that inhibits or prevents the function of cells and/or causes destruction of cells. The term is intended to include radioactive isotopes (e.g. I 131 , I 125 , Y 90 and Re 186 ), chemotherapeutic agents, and toxins such as enzymatically active toxins of bacterial, fungal, plant or animal origin, or fragments thereof. [0023] A "chemotherapeutic agent" is a chemical compound useful in the treatment of cancer. Examples of chemotherapeutic agents include alkylating agents such as thiotepa and cyclosphosphamide (Cytoxan®); alkyl sulfonates such as busulfan, improsulfan and piposulfan; aziridines such as benzodopa, carboquone, meturedopa, and uredopa; ethylenimines and methylamelamines including altretamine, triethylenemelamine, trietylenephosphoramide, triethylenethiophosphaoramide and trimethylolomelamine; nitrogen mustards such as chlorambucil, chlornaphazine, cholophosphamide, estramustine, ifosfamide, mechlorethamine, mechlorethamine oxide hydrochloride, melphalan, novembichin, phenesterine, prednimustine, trofosfamide, uracil mustard; nitrosureas such as carmustine, chlorozotocin, fotemustine, lomustine, nimustine, ranimustine; antibiotics such as aclacinomysins, actinomycin, authramycin, azaserine, bleomycins, cactinomycin, calicheamicin, carabicin, carminomycin, carzinophilin, chromomycins, dactinomycin, daunorubicin, detorubicin, 6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine, doxorubicin, epirubicin, esorubicin, idarubicin, marcellomycin, mitomycins, mycophenolic acid, nogalamycin, olivomycins, peplomycin, potfiromycin, puromycin, quelamycin, rodorubicin, streptonigrin, streptozocin, tubercidin, ubenimex, zinostatin, zorubicin; anti-metabolites such as methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU); folic acid analogues such as denopterin, methotrexate, pteropterin, trimetrexate; purine analogs such as fludarabine, 6-mercaptopurine, thiamiprine, thioguanine; pyrimidine analogs such as ancitabine, azacitidine, 6-azauridine, carmofur, cytarabine, dideoxyuridine, doxifluridine, enocitabine, floxuridine; androgens such as calusterone, dromostanolone propionate, epitiostanol, mepitiostane, testolactone; anti-adrenals such as aminoglutethimide, mitotane, trilostane; folic acid replenisher such as frolinic acid; aceglatone; aldophosphamide glycoside; aminolevulinic acid; amsacrine; bestrabucil; bisantrene; edatraxate; defofamine; demecolcine; diaziquone; elfornithine; elliptinium acetate; etoglucid; gallium nitrate; hydroxyurea; lentinan; lonidamine; mitoguazone; mitoxantrone;

mopidamol; nitracrine; pentostatin; phenamet; pirarubicin; podophyllinic acid; 2-ethylhydrazide; procarbazine; PSK®; razoxane; sizofiran; spirogermanium; tenuazonic acid; triaziquone; 2, 2', 2"- trichlorotriethylamine; urethan; vindesine; dacarbazine; mannomustine; mitobronitol; mitolactol; pipobroman; gacytosine; arabinoside ("Ara-C"); cyclophosphamide; thiotepa; taxanes, e.g. paclitaxel (Taxol®, Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology, Princeton, N.J.) and docetaxel (Taxotere®; Aventis Antony, France); chlorambucil; gemcitabine; 6-thioguanine; mercaptopurine; methotrexate; platinum analogs such as cisplatin and carboplatin; vinblastine; platinum; etoposide (VP-16); ifosfamide; mitomycin C; mitoxantrone; vincristine; vinorelbine; navelbine; novantrone; teniposide; daunomycin; aminopterin; xeloda; ibandronate; CPT-11 ; topoisomerase inhibitor RFS 2000; difluoromethylomithine (DMFO); retinoic acid; esperamicins; capecitabine; and pharmaceutically acceptable salts, acids or derivatives of any of the above. Also included in this definition are anti- hormonal agents that act to regulate or inhibit hormone action on tumors such as anti-estrogens including for example tamoxifen, raloxifene, aromatase inhibiting 4(5)-imidazoles, 4- hydroxytamoxifen, trioxifene, keoxifene, LY 1 17018, onapristone, and toremifene (Fareston); and anti-androgens such as flutamide, nilutamide, bicalutamide, leuprolide, and goserelin; and pharmaceutically acceptable salts, acids or derivatives of any of the above. [0024] A "growth inhibitory agent" when used herein refers to a compound or composition which inhibits growth of a cell, especially a cancer cell either in vitro or in vivo. Examples of growth inhibitory agents include agents that block cell cycle progression (at a place other than S phase), such as agents that induce G1 arrest and M-phase arrest. Classical M-phase blockers include the vincas (vincristine and vinblastine), Taxol ®, and topo Il inhibitors such as doxorubicin, epirubicin, daunorubicin, etoposide, and bleomycin. Those agents that arrest G1 also spill over into S-phase arrest, for example, DNA alkylating agents such as tamoxifen, prednisone, dacarbazine, mechlorethamine, cisplatin, methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, and ara-C.

[0025] An "antihypertensive agent" when used herein refers to include calcium channel blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), angiotensin Il receptor antagonists (A-Il antagonists), diuretics, β-adrenergic receptor blockers, vasodilators and α-adrenergic receptor blockers.

[0026] Calcium channel blockers include amlodipine; bepridil; clentiazem; diltiazem; fendiline; gallopamil; mibefradil; prenylamine; semotiadil; terodiline; verapamil; aranidipine; barnidipine; benidipine; cilnidipine; efonidipine; elgodipine; felodipine; isradipine; lacidipine; lercanidipine; manidipine; nicardipine; nifedipine; nilvadipine; nimodipine; nisoldipine; nitrendipine; cinnarizine; flunarizine; lidoflazine; lomerizine; bencyclane; etafenone; and perhexiline. [0027] Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I nhibitors) include alacepril; benazepril; captopril; ceronapril; delapril; enalapril; fosinopril; imidapril; lisinopril; moveltipril; perindopril; quinapril; ramipril; spirapril; temocapril; and trandolapril.

[0028] Angiotensin-ll receptor antagonists include, but are not limited to: candesartan (US

5,196,444); eprosartan; irbesartan; losartan; and valsartan.

[0029] β-blockers include, but are not limited to: acebutolol; alprenolol; amosulalol; arotinolol; atenolol; befunolol; betaxolol; bevantolot; bisoprolol; bopindolol; bucumolol; bufetolol; bufuralol; bunitrolol; bupranolol; butidrine hydrochloride; butofilolol; carazolol; carteolol; carvedilol; celiprolol; cetamolol; cloranololdilevalol; epanolol; indenolol; labetalol; levobunolol; mepindolol; metipranolol; metoprolol; moprolol; nadolol; nadoxolol; nebivalol; nipradilol; oxprenolol; penbutolol; pindolol; practolol; pronethalol; propranolol; sotalol; sulfinalol; talinolol; tertatolol; tilisolol; timolol; toliprolol; and xibenolol.

[0030] α-blockers include, but are not limited to: amosulalol; arotinolol; dapiprazole; doxazosin; fenspiride; indoramin; labetolol, naftopidil; nicergoline; prazosin; tamsulosin; tolazoline; trimazosin; and yohimbine.

[0031] Vasodilators include cerebral vasodilators, coronary vasodilators and peripheral vasodilators. Cerebral vasodilators include bencyclane; cinnarizine; citicoline,; cyclandelate; ciclonicate; diisopropylamine dichloroacetate; eburnamonine; fasudil; fenoxedil; flunarizine; ibudilast; ifenprodil; lomerizine; nafronyl; nicametate; nicergoline; nimodipine; papaverine; tinofedrine; vincamine; vinpocetine; and viquidil.

[0032] Coronary vasodilators include, but are not limited to: amotriphene; bendazol; benfurodil hemisuccinate; benziodarone; chloracizine; chromonar; clobenfural; clonitrate; cloricromen; dilazep; dipyridamole; droprenilamine; efloxate; erythrityl tetranitrate; etafenone; fendiline; floredil; ganglefene; hexestrol bis(β-diethylaminoethyl) ether; hexobendine; itramin tosylate; khellin; lidoflazine; mannitol hexanitrate; medibazine; nitroglycerin; pentaerythritol tetranitrate; pentrinitrol; perhexiline; pimefylline; prenylamine; propatyl nitrate; trapidil; tricromyl; trimetazidine; trolnitrate phosphate; visnadine.

[0033] Peripheral vasodilators include, but are not limited to: aluminium nicotinate; bamethan; bencyclane; betahistine; bradykinin; brovincamine; bufeniode; buflomedil; butalamine; cetiedil; ciclonicate; cinepazide; cinnarizine; cyclandelate; diisopropylamine dichloroacetate; eledoisin; fenoxedil; flunarizine; hepronicate; ifenprodil; iloprost; inositol niacinate; isoxsuprine; kallidin; kallikrein; moxisylyte; nafronyl; nicametate; nicergoline; nicofuranose; nylidrin; pentifylline; pentoxifylline; piribedil; prostaglandin E 1 ; suloctidil; tolazoline; and xanthinol niacinate. [0034] Diuretics include but are not limited to diuretic benzothiadiazine derivatives, diuretic organomercurials, diuretic purines, diuretic steroids, diuretic sulfonamide derivatives, diuretic uracils and other diuretics such as amanozine; amiloride; arbutin; chlorazanil; ethacrynic acid; etozolin; hydracarbazine; isosorbide; mannitol; metochalcone; muzolimine; perhexiline; ticrynafen; triamterene; and urea.

Methods of Administration

[0035] The invention provides compositions and methods of treatment with a VEGF antagonist

which avoids, reduces, or eliminates an increase in blood pressure associated with VEGF antagonist administration. Accordingly, in the method of the invention, the VEGF antagonist is administered subcutaneously to the subject in need of such treatment.

[0036] A composition useful in practicing the methods of the invention may be a liquid comprising an agent of the invention in solution, in suspension, or both. The term "solution/suspension" refers to a liquid composition where a first portion of the active agent is present in solution and a second portion of the active agent is present in particulate form, in suspension in a liquid matrix. A liquid composition also includes a gel. The liquid composition may be aqueous or in the form of an ointment.

[0037] An aqueous suspension or solution/suspension useful for practicing the methods of the invention may contain one or more polymers as suspending agents. Useful polymers include water- soluble polymers such as cellulosic polymers and water-insoluble polymers such as cross-linked carboxyl-containing polymers. An aqueous suspension or solution/suspension of the present invention is preferably viscous or muco-adhesive, or even more preferably, both viscous and mucoadhesive.

[0038] Other features of the invention will become apparent in the course of the following descriptions of exemplary embodiments which are given for illustration of the invention and are not intended to be limiting thereof.

EXAMPLES

[0039] The following example is put forth so as to provide those of ordinary skill in the art with a complete disclosure and description of how to make and use the methods and compositions of the invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of what the inventors regard as their invention. Efforts have been made to ensure accuracy with respect to numbers used (e.g., amounts, temperature, etc.) but some experimental errors and deviations should be accounted for. Unless indicated otherwise, parts are parts by weight, molecular weight is average molecular weight, temperature is in degrees Centigrade, and pressure is at or near atmospheric.

Example 1. Subcutaneous Administration of a VEGF Antagonist

[0040] Study 0103. An initial cohort of 3 patients were dosed subcutaneously with 25 ug/kg with the receptor-based VEGF antagonist ("VEGF trap") (SEQ ID NO:4) with a series of six weekly injections. Four weeks later, 3 additional patients were enrolled in the cohort and received six i/veekly injections of 50 ug/kg. Four weeks later, 3 additional patients were enrolled in the cohort and 'eceived six weekly injections of 50 ug/kg. This schedule was repeated, enrolling 3 patients in each :ohort dose group of 100 ug/kg, 200 ug/kg, 400 ug/kg and 800 ug/kg. An additional cohort was added and received 800 ug/kg twice per week.

O041] Patients were required to meet the following criteria for enrollment: (1) patients with

relapsed or refractory solid tumor (other than squamous cell carcinoma of the lung), or non- Hodgkin's lymphoma refractory to at least two standard chemotherapy regimens and rituximab, and at least one measurable site of metastases or residual primary tumor; (2) No history of CNS primary tumor or metastasis; (3) Patients who have failed all curative chemotherapeutic regimens for their underlying disease and who have no standard chemotherapy, immunotherapy, anti-tumor therapy or radiotherapy options available; (4) Adequate organ function; (5) Acceptable laboratory parameters, including coagulation profile and renal function tests.

[0042] Both supine and standing blood pressure were monitored at each study visit in the Protocol. In cases of new hypertension or worsening of previously documented hypertension, blood pressure was readily managed with 1 or 2 antihypertensive agents.

[0043] Exploratory analyses of blood pressure dose-response. The dose level cohorts were combined into 4 dose groups to facilitate the use of statistical tools to examine potential trends. Combined dose group 1 includes subjects treated at the 25 μg/kg, 50 μg/kg, and 100 μg/kg dose levels; combined dose group 2 includes subjects treated at the 200 μg/kg and 400 μg/kg; dose levels; combined dose group 3 includes subjects treated at the 800 μg/kg; and combined dose group 4 includes subjects treated at the 800 μg/kg twice weekly dose level. Using these combined dose groups, group differences at each time point were assessed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) as a descriptive tool to flag potential trends. Simple linear regression analysis was also applied to test the linear trend. Separate analyses were undertaken for supine and standing, systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

[0044] Standing systolic blood pressure. For change in standing systolic blood pressure, the ANOVA at each time point revealed no dose-related trend toward an increase in standing systolic blood pressure; only the Day 3 out of 14 time assessments appeared to have a nominal p-value less than 0.05. Mean change from baseline determinations obtained in the first 2 weeks of administration are shown in Table 1.

[0045] Standing diastolic blood pressure. For change in standing diastolic blood pressure, the ANOVA on mean values at each time point again revealed no dose-related trend. None of the 14 time assessments had nominal p-value less than 0.05, but 4 of the time assessments time had nominal p-values between 0.05 and 0.1. Mean change from baseline determinations obtained in the first 2 weeks of administration are shown in Table 1.

Example 2. Intravenous Administration of a VEGF Antagonist

[0046] Study 0202. Patients with refractory solid tumors or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma receiving no concurrent treatment for their cancer are treated with the VEGF trap (SEQ ID NO:4) as follows. An initial cohort of 3 patients received a single dose of 0.3 mg/kg VEGF trap administered intravenously. As the single dose was well tolerated, patients received one additional infusion at the same dose level after a 2-week interval. An additional cohort of 3 patients received 1.0 mg/kg

VEGF trap intravenously following the same schedule. This pattern was repeated with dose level cohorts of 3-6 patients receiving 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 mg/kg VEGF trap. Blood pressure is monitored and tumor burden is assessed at the beginning and end of the weekly dosing period; patients with stable disease, partial or complete responses may continue dosing for up to an additional 6 months in a continuation study. Mean changes at Day 15 from baseline Day 0 are shown for each dose group in Table 1.

[0047] Study 0305. A second study was conducted following the procedure for study 0202. Patients selected for the study had relapsed or refractory solid tumors (other than squamous cell carcinoma of the lung) who were not expected to benefit from standard therapy, or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma refractory to at least two standard chemotherapy regimens and rituximab, and at least one measurable site of metastasis or residual primary tumor, and had completed Study 0202 without experience dose-limiting toxicity.

[0048] Systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements were obtained as described in Example 1. Mean change from baseline determinations obtained in the first 2 weeks of administration are shown in Table 1 for each study group.

[0049] Generally, subcutaneous administration of the VEGF trap resulted in an increased blood pressure of 3.8-8.2% at the highest dose level. Intravenous administration resulted in an increase in blood pressure of over 20% at the highest doses. At comparable doses, a subcutaneously administered dose of 800 ug/kg VEGF trap resulted in a 1.5% increase in diastolic blood pressure, whereas an intravenous dose of 1.0 mg/kg VEGF trap increased diastolic blood pressure 3.7- 13.3%.

Table 1. Summary of Results for Subcutaneous (0103) and Intravenous (0202, 0305) Studies