Alfacell and University of Bath Collaborators Identify Structure of Amphinase Paper Published in Journal of Molecular Biology Highlights Amphinase's

Potential as a Therapeutic Agent



    BLOOMFIELD, N.J., May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alfacell Corporation
 (Nasdaq:   ACEL) today announced that an international collaboration between
 its scientists and members of Prof. K. Ravi Acharya's research group with
 the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath in the
 United Kingdom has identified the enzymatic, physical and three-dimensional
 properties of Amphinases, a novel group of enzymes that kill tumor cells in
 vitro. These findings demonstrate that Amphinases evade the mammalian
 ribonuclease (RNase) inhibitor, which points to their therapeutic
 potential.
     Published online in the Journal of Molecular Biology on May 10, 2007
 (Singh U.P. et al., 2007, doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2007.04.071) this seminal paper
 summarizes the findings and expands on results previously presented at the
 6th International Conference on Ribonucleases (Bath, UK, 2002). The
 Amphinases possess structural similarities with Alfacell's flagship
 anti-cancer drug candidate, ONCONASE(R) (ranpirnase). Despite the
 structural similarities to ONCONASE, high-resolution X-ray crystal
 structures of one amphinase variant, Amph-2, in both natural and
 recombinant forms, reveal a collection of unique features at the catalytic
 center (some integral, some peripheral). The paper also provides valuable
 information for researchers studying the evolutionary diversity of
 amphibian RNase A homologues, an intriguing class of enzymes with potential
 clinical applications.
     "We are proud and excited to be able to introduce by way of a full
 characterization yet another novel and important enzyme to the scientific
 community," said Kuslima Shogen, Alfacell's chairman and chief executive
 officer. "Our collaborative efforts with Dr. Acharya's team resulted in
 high resolution crystal structures of this exciting family of primordial
 pluripotent enzymes. Amphinase is the second anti-tumor ribonuclease to be
 isolated from Rana pipiens oocytes, and is currently undergoing preclinical
 testing for the investigation of numerous potential therapeutic
 opportunities."
     About ONCONASE(R)
     ONCONASE is a first-in-class therapeutic product candidate based on
 Alfacell's proprietary ribonuclease (RNase) technology. A natural protein
 isolated from the leopard frog, ONCONASE has been shown in the laboratory
 and clinic to target cancer cells while sparing normal cells. ONCONASE
 triggers apoptosis, the natural death of cells, via multiple molecular
 mechanisms of action.
     About Alfacell Corporation
     Alfacell Corporation is the first company to advance a
 biopharmaceutical product candidate that works in a manner similar to RNA
 interference (RNAi) through late-stage clinical trials. The product
 candidate, ONCONASE, is an RNase that overcomes the challenges of targeting
 RNA for therapeutic purposes while enabling the development of a new class
 of targeted therapies for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In
 addition to an ongoing Phase IIIb study in malignant mesothelioma, Alfacell
 is conducting a Phase I/II trial of ONCONASE in non-small cell lung cancer
 (NSCLC) and other solid tumors. For more information, visit
 http://www.alfacell.com.
     Safe Harbor
     This press release includes statements that may constitute "forward-
 looking" statements, usually containing the words "believe," "estimate,"
 "project," "expect" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements
 involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that would cause or
 contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to,
 uncertainties involved in transitioning from concept to product,
 uncertainties involving the ability of the company to finance research and
 development activities, potential challenges to or violations of patents,
 uncertainties regarding the outcome of clinical trials, the company's
 ability to secure necessary approvals from regulatory agencies, dependence
 upon third-party vendors, and other risks discussed in the company's
 periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By making
 these forward-looking statements, the company undertakes no obligation to
 update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this
 release.
      Media Contact:                      Investor Contact:
      David Schull or Wendy Lau           Andreas Marathovouniotis
      Russo Partners                      Russo Partners
      212-845-4271                        212-845-4253
      david.schull@russopartnersllc.com   andreas.marathis@russopartnersllc.com
      wendy.lau@russopartnersllc.com
 
 

SOURCE Alfacell Corporation

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