Alfacell's Onconase Highlighted in Latest Edition of Handbook ofTherapeutic Antibodies
BLOOMFIELD, N.J., March 20, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alfacell Corporation's ONCONASE (ranpirnase) has shown potential to act as a potent payload in antibody conjugates for cancer therapy, according to the latest edition of the Handbook of Therapeutic Antibodies.
In a chapter of the text that reviews immunotoxins, Susanna Rybak, Ph.D. summarizes preclinical research indicating that the specificity and potency of ONCONASE improves in a number of tumor models, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, when it is conjugated with various antibodies. Dr. Rybak also reviews evidence that implies that ONCONASE may also be effectively targeted to tumors as a conjugate with non-internalizing antibodies, as compared with the internalizing antibodies required by standard plant and bacterial toxins.
"Antibody-targeted ONCONASE is the most potent targeted ribonuclease (RNase) that I have studied," Dr. Rybak said. "While immunotoxins have entered the arsenal of anti-cancer drugs, there have been problems with their clinical use. ONCONASE's excellent performance in preclinical studies makes it a very promising candidate for testing in the clinic."
"It is a great honor to be included in this important industry reference book," added Kuslima Shogen, Alfacell's chairman and chief executive officer. "This work is further evidence of the opportunity that exists for us to build a significant ONCONASE franchise, as a single agent, in combination therapy or as a payload in antibody conjugates. ONCONASE has the potential to be an effective, highly targeted agent for the treatment of various cancers beyond mesothelioma."
For more than 25 years, Dr. Rybak's research has centered on the biology of RNases, antibody engineering and drug targeting. Her laboratory at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed the groundwork for RNase-based therapeutics for NHL and breast cancer. Dr. Rybak, who is a member of Alfacell's scientific advisory board, has been a long-term collaborator with the company.
The Handbook of Therapeutic Antibodies (ed: Stephen Dubel; published by Wiley VCH March 2007) presents an up-to-date and comprehensive review for the development, production and therapeutic application of antibodies. For more information, visit http://www.wiley.com.
ONCONASE is a first-in-class therapeutic 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.
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Posted: March 2007