VentiRx Pharmaceuticals Initiates the ACTIVE8 Phase 2 Clinical Trial Evaluating VTX-2337 in Combination with Cetuximab and

     VentiRx Pharmaceuticals Initiates the ACTIVE8 Phase 2 Clinical Trial
Evaluating VTX-2337 in Combination with Cetuximab and Chemotherapy in Patients
  with Recurrent or Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Trial Adds Immunotherapy to Current Standard of Care Regimen

PR Newswire

SEATTLE, July 2, 2013

SEATTLE, July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced
today the initiation of the ACTIVE8 clinical trial, a randomized,
placebo-controlled, Phase 2 trial evaluating VTX-2337 in combination with a
standard of care regimen, cetuximab, platinum and 5 Fluorouracil (5-FU), in
patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and


The ACTIVE8 trial will randomize 175 patients to receive either VTX-2337 or
placebo in combination with cetuximab, platinum and 5-FU chemotherapy.The
primary endpoint of the trial will be progression-free survival as determined
by Immune Related Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (irRECIST). The
study will be conducted in approximately 50 centers throughout the U.S. More
information on this trial is available at (NCT01836029).

VTX-2337 is a novel small molecule Toll-like Receptor 8 (TLR8) agonist that
directly activates multiple components of the innate immune system. This
includes activation of human myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs), monocytes and
natural killer (NK) cells resulting in the production of high levels of
mediators known to orchestrate the integration of innate and adaptive
anti-tumor responses.

Results from preclinical models suggest that combining VTX-2337 with some
chemotherapies and monoclonal antibodies demonstrate a synergistic effect in
stimulating a variety of immune pathways associated with anti-tumor activity
including antibody-directed cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Early data from an
ongoing Phase 1 trial in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN)
demonstrated that the combination was safe and well-tolerated, and
demonstrated activation of NK cells following dosing with VTX-2337.

"We are very pleased that VentiRx has initiated this trial that gives us the
option of combining VTX-2337 with a current standard of care treatment in the
first-line setting of recurrent head and neck cancer," said Ezra Cohen M.D.
study co-chair and Associate Professor of Medicine at The University of
Chicago. "Given the preclinical and early clinical data with VTX-2337 in
SCCHN, we are hopeful that ACTIVE8 will provide meaningful benefits in this
population who currently have few treatment options."

"We are excited to initiate our second randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase 2
study with VTX-2337 in a second solid tumor indication," said Robert
Hershberg, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of VentiRx. "The
ACTIVE8 study in head and neck cancer patients focuses on the ability of our
novel TLR8 agonist to stimulate NK cells, ADCC and monoclonal antibody
responses. This study complements the ongoing GOG-3003 study in combination
with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) chemotherapy in patients with
ovarian cancer."

ACTIVE8 will be the second randomized Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating
VTX-2337 in the treatment of advanced cancers. The first trial was initiated
in collaboration with the Gynecologic Oncology Group to investigate whether
combining VTX-2337 with PLD, standard second-line chemotherapy for ovarian
cancer patients, has the potential to improve overall survival compared to PLD
alone. This trial (GOG-3003, NCT01666444) is currently enrolling patients at
65 sites in the U.S.

About VentiRx Pharmaceuticals

VentiRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company
committed to the development and commercialization of novel Toll-like receptor
8 (TLR8) immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. The Company's lead
product candidate is VTX-2337, a small molecule TLR8 agonist for the treatment
of various solid tumors. VentiRx has an exclusive, world-wide collaboration
with Celgene Corporation for VTX-2337. VentiRx is a privately held
organization based in Seattle, Washington. For additional information, please

SOURCE VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Contact: Robert Hershberg, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer,
VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (206) 689-2269,; Katie
Fanning, Vice President, Business and Corporate Development, VentiRx
Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,
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