Stressgen targets hepatitis B as the next Hsp fusion program

Preclinical Data Presented at Experimental Biology 2001

Support Therapeutic Utility of Stress Protein Fusions



Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from Stressgen Biotechnologies Corp.

    VICTORIA, BC, April 17 /PRNewswire/ - Stressgen Biotechnologies
 Corporation (TSE:SSB) announced today that, based on positive preclinical data
 presented at the Experimental Biology 2001 meeting held earlier this month, it
 has chosen to evaluate a novel heat shock protein (Hsp) fusion for its
 therapeutic potential to treat hepatitis B.  Data presented at the conference
 involved a novel fusion protein containing an Hsp fused to a highly conserved
 protein from hepatitis B virus (HBV).  This fusion has been shown to elicit
 cytotoxic T cells, which recognize HBV antigens, suggesting they would be
 capable of killing HBV-infected cells.  These T cells were also shown to
 produce the cytokine interferon gamma, which is known to suppress HBV
 replication in infected cells.
     "The results of these studies demonstrate the potential efficacy of this
 novel fusion in the immunotherapy of chronic HBV infection," said Marvin I.
 Siegel, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development of
 Stressgen.
     Stressgen believes that its hepatitis B program could offer hope in
 countering the disease's significant worldwide impact on human health. "The
 need for new and effective therapies for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV)
 infection remains great," said Timothy M. Block, Ph.D., President of The
 Hepatitis B Foundation of America and Professor and Director of The Jefferson
 Center of Jefferson Medical College. "Despite the availability of a safe and
 effective vaccine, there are still more than 400 million people worldwide who
 are chronically infected with the virus. Without intervention, as many as 100
 million of these individuals will die from HBV-induced disease. The problem
 isn't limited to lesser developed countries, although Asia and Eastern Europe
 are particularly impacted. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 1.25 million
 carriers with more than 200,000 new infections last year."
     "The approach developed by Stressgen to couple heat shock proteins to
 immunogenic viral proteins in order to produce a new class of vaccines is
 novel," said Lawrence R. Stanberry, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of Pediatrics and
 Director, Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Texas Medical
 Branch at Galveston. "This strategy has the potential to yield therapeutic
 vaccines, products designed to treat the patient suffering from a chronic
 infection. Using its heat shock protein strategy to develop an
 immunotherapeutic against diseases caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV), the
 Company has generated very interesting clinical data suggesting these products
 can be effective in humans who are suffering from chronic HPV infection. These
 promising results raise the hope of developing therapeutic molecules for other
 chronic or persistent viral infections including herpes, hepatitis, and HIV."
     "We are pleased with promising results coming out of our research and
 development program and will continue to evaluate and expand these initiatives
 to capitalize on the therapeutic potential of stress proteins and stress
 protein fusions," said Daniel L. Korpolinski, President and Chief Executive
 Officer of Stressgen.
     Stressgen is evaluating the potential of HspE7 as a broad based
 therapeutic for diseases caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The Company
 currently has a number of clinical trials ongoing, including one Phase III
 trial, and several Phase II trials, and will soon initiate a clinical trial to
 evaluate HspE7 for the treatment of a serious HPV-related disease, recurrent
 respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), for which the FDA recently granted orphan
 drug status. RRP is caused by the same HPV types that cause genital warts.
     HspE7, a recombinant fusion product created with Stressgen's proprietary
 Hsp fusion technology, is composed of heat shock protein 65 (Hsp65) from
 Mycobacterium bovis BCG and the protein E7. As a member of the family of
 stress proteins, Hsp65 is known to elicit a powerful immune response. The E7
 protein is derived from HPV and is involved in the malignant transformation of
 epithelial cells. E7 is a tumor-specific antigen and represents a precise
 target for the immune system attack on infected cells.
 
     Stressgen is a public biopharmaceutical company focused on the
 development and commercialization of innovative stress protein-based
 immunotherapeutics. The Company is developing a broad range of products for
 the treatment of viral infections, related cancers, asthma, allergy and other
 diseases based on its Hsp technology. Stressgen is an internationally
 recognized supplier of research products for the study of cellular stress,
 apoptosis, oxidative stress and neurobiology, which are used by scientists
 worldwide.
 
     The foregoing press release contains statements that involve risks and
 uncertainties, including, without limitation, statements containing the words
 "potential", "promising" and "will", and the discussions of our on-going
 clinical trials and plans to develop and commercialize products.  Such
 statements constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the
 United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  A number of
 factors could cause the ultimate results or our performance to be materially
 different from those implied by such statements, including but not limited to,
 any inability to demonstrate the efficacy of stress proteins as a therapeutic
 for particular diseases, delays or unexpected results of planned or existing
 clinical trial and difficulties in obtaining regulatory approvals, and the
 need for the Company to continue to develop its products, including HspE7, all
 as described in the Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the
 United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is not assuming
 any obligation to update or alter the contents of this news release.
 
 

SOURCE Stressgen Biotechnologies Corp.
    VICTORIA, BC, April 17 /PRNewswire/ - Stressgen Biotechnologies
 Corporation (TSE:SSB) announced today that, based on positive preclinical data
 presented at the Experimental Biology 2001 meeting held earlier this month, it
 has chosen to evaluate a novel heat shock protein (Hsp) fusion for its
 therapeutic potential to treat hepatitis B.  Data presented at the conference
 involved a novel fusion protein containing an Hsp fused to a highly conserved
 protein from hepatitis B virus (HBV).  This fusion has been shown to elicit
 cytotoxic T cells, which recognize HBV antigens, suggesting they would be
 capable of killing HBV-infected cells.  These T cells were also shown to
 produce the cytokine interferon gamma, which is known to suppress HBV
 replication in infected cells.
     "The results of these studies demonstrate the potential efficacy of this
 novel fusion in the immunotherapy of chronic HBV infection," said Marvin I.
 Siegel, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development of
 Stressgen.
     Stressgen believes that its hepatitis B program could offer hope in
 countering the disease's significant worldwide impact on human health. "The
 need for new and effective therapies for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV)
 infection remains great," said Timothy M. Block, Ph.D., President of The
 Hepatitis B Foundation of America and Professor and Director of The Jefferson
 Center of Jefferson Medical College. "Despite the availability of a safe and
 effective vaccine, there are still more than 400 million people worldwide who
 are chronically infected with the virus. Without intervention, as many as 100
 million of these individuals will die from HBV-induced disease. The problem
 isn't limited to lesser developed countries, although Asia and Eastern Europe
 are particularly impacted. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 1.25 million
 carriers with more than 200,000 new infections last year."
     "The approach developed by Stressgen to couple heat shock proteins to
 immunogenic viral proteins in order to produce a new class of vaccines is
 novel," said Lawrence R. Stanberry, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of Pediatrics and
 Director, Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Texas Medical
 Branch at Galveston. "This strategy has the potential to yield therapeutic
 vaccines, products designed to treat the patient suffering from a chronic
 infection. Using its heat shock protein strategy to develop an
 immunotherapeutic against diseases caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV), the
 Company has generated very interesting clinical data suggesting these products
 can be effective in humans who are suffering from chronic HPV infection. These
 promising results raise the hope of developing therapeutic molecules for other
 chronic or persistent viral infections including herpes, hepatitis, and HIV."
     "We are pleased with promising results coming out of our research and
 development program and will continue to evaluate and expand these initiatives
 to capitalize on the therapeutic potential of stress proteins and stress
 protein fusions," said Daniel L. Korpolinski, President and Chief Executive
 Officer of Stressgen.
     Stressgen is evaluating the potential of HspE7 as a broad based
 therapeutic for diseases caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The Company
 currently has a number of clinical trials ongoing, including one Phase III
 trial, and several Phase II trials, and will soon initiate a clinical trial to
 evaluate HspE7 for the treatment of a serious HPV-related disease, recurrent
 respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), for which the FDA recently granted orphan
 drug status. RRP is caused by the same HPV types that cause genital warts.
     HspE7, a recombinant fusion product created with Stressgen's proprietary
 Hsp fusion technology, is composed of heat shock protein 65 (Hsp65) from
 Mycobacterium bovis BCG and the protein E7. As a member of the family of
 stress proteins, Hsp65 is known to elicit a powerful immune response. The E7
 protein is derived from HPV and is involved in the malignant transformation of
 epithelial cells. E7 is a tumor-specific antigen and represents a precise
 target for the immune system attack on infected cells.
 
     Stressgen is a public biopharmaceutical company focused on the
 development and commercialization of innovative stress protein-based
 immunotherapeutics. The Company is developing a broad range of products for
 the treatment of viral infections, related cancers, asthma, allergy and other
 diseases based on its Hsp technology. Stressgen is an internationally
 recognized supplier of research products for the study of cellular stress,
 apoptosis, oxidative stress and neurobiology, which are used by scientists
 worldwide.
 
     The foregoing press release contains statements that involve risks and
 uncertainties, including, without limitation, statements containing the words
 "potential", "promising" and "will", and the discussions of our on-going
 clinical trials and plans to develop and commercialize products.  Such
 statements constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the
 United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  A number of
 factors could cause the ultimate results or our performance to be materially
 different from those implied by such statements, including but not limited to,
 any inability to demonstrate the efficacy of stress proteins as a therapeutic
 for particular diseases, delays or unexpected results of planned or existing
 clinical trial and difficulties in obtaining regulatory approvals, and the
 need for the Company to continue to develop its products, including HspE7, all
 as described in the Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the
 United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is not assuming
 any obligation to update or alter the contents of this news release.
 
 SOURCE Stressgen Biotechnologies Corp.