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Access Pharmaceuticals Signs Agreement for CobaCyte® and CobOral® in RNAi Therapeutic Delivery

DALLAS and NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ACCESS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. (OTCBB: ACCP), a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary drug-delivery platforms to develop treatments in areas of oncology, cancer supportive care and diabetes, announced it has entered into an agreement with a major player in RNAi industry to exploit its CobaCyte and CobOral technology for the targeted delivery of RNAi therapeutics.  Access will provide the pharmaceutical company with CobOral and CobaCyte siRNA formulations for evaluation of gene knockdown following oral and intravenous administration.  Access indicated that any successful formulation developed will be jointly owned by the Parties and subject to a subsequent full licensing agreement.

"We are pleased to have signed an agreement with another major player in RNAi therapeutics as it continues to validate the advances in both our CobOral and CobaCyte technology platforms," said Phillip Wise, VP Business Development and Strategy, Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  He continued, "We believe the distinct advantages our CobOral and CobaCyte technologies offers is well-suited for the company's RNAi products and we look forward to the collaborative work ahead."

RNAi is typically initiated by the introduction of small fragments of RNA, typically siRNA or miRNA, into cells at disease sites. Due to their large size and high negative charge, these RNA fragments are not able to cross cell membranes. Therefore, to develop effective RNAi therapeutics, a delivery system must be developed that can transport the siRNA into cells, and release undamaged siRNA into target cell cytoplasm.  Access' CobOral and CobaCyte delivery technologies, which are based on vitamin B12, are particularly well-suited for this purpose.  Most human cells have a requirement for vitamin B12 which is served by cell surface receptors which facilitate absorption of this vitamin.  In many diseases, the demand for vitamin B12 is increased, with a corresponding upregulation of the receptor. Using the 'Trojan Horse' principle, the CobaCyte nanoparticle technology can utilize the vitamin B12 uptake mechanism to transport siRNA into cells whereupon native siRNA can be released for incorporation in messenger RNA (mRNA) to initiate the beneficial therapeutic effect. In this way, CobaCyte offers the potential for targeted delivery of siRNA following intravenous administration. The fact that Access' vitamin B12 technology also facilitates oral drug delivery (the CobOral technology) indicates that it may also be possible for this technology to provide effective siRNA treatments by oral drug delivery.

About Access:Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an emerging biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes proprietary products for the treatment and supportive care of cancer patients. Access' products include MuGard™ (, which has received FDA marketing clearance for the management of patients with mucositis, ProLindac™, a second generation DACH Platinum in Phase 2 clinical testing of patients with ovarian cancer, and Thiarabine™, a novel nucleoside analog that has demonstrated both pre-clinical and clinical activity in certain cancers; currently in a Phase 1/2a trial in hematological malignancies at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.  

The company also has other advanced drug delivery technologies including CobaCyte™-mediated targeted delivery and CobOral-oral drug delivery, its proprietary nanopolymer delivery technology based on the natural vitamin B12 uptake mechanism.  For additional information on Access Pharmaceuticals, please visit our website at

This press release contains certain statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27a of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include those relating to: our cash burn rate, clinical trial plans and timelines and clinical results for ProLindac, MuGard, Thiarabine and Cobalamin and other product candidates, our ability to achieve clinical and commercial success and our ability to successfully develop marketed products. These statements are subject to numerous risks, including but not limited to Access' need to obtain additional financing in order to continue the clinical trial and operations and to the risks detailed in Access' Annual Reports on Form 10-K and other reports filed by Access with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Company and Media Contact:

Contact: Investor RelationsChristine Berni

Donald C. WeinbergerDirector of Investor Relations

Wolfe Axelrod Weinberger Assoc. LLCAccess Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

(212) 370-4500(212) 786-6208

SOURCE Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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