Peregrine Pharmaceuticals reported positive Phase II data in a clinical trial of bavituximab in patients with a deadly form of lung cancer. Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who took bavituximab in conjunction with the chemotherapy drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel had a progression-free survival rate of 6.5 months, compared to 4.2 to 4.5 months for patients who underwent chemotherapy alone. The study evaluated 21 patients with NSCLC. Peregrine recently completed enrollment in the trial, which is expected to involve 49 patients. Bavituximab is a monoclonal antibody that targets a particular component of the cellular membrane. Phosphatidylserine is typically located inside the cell, but it becomes exposed on the outside of the cells that line the blood vessels of tumors. Bavituximab masks phosphatidylserine to help the patient's immune system destroy the tumor and its blood vessels. Peregrine is also pursuing bavituximab as a breast cancer drug candidate. The Tustin, Calif.-based company has completed enrollment in three Phase II trials evaluating bavituximab used in conjunction with chemotherapy for advanced lung cancer and advanced breast cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for 85 to 90 percent of lung cancer cases. Peregrine develops monoclonal antibody treatments for various cancers and viral infections. OneMedPlace recently interviewed Peregrine CEO Steven King about the company's drug development pipeline and future plans. "It's a very rewarding time in the company's history," says King.