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Nature Reviews Publishes Article About Jennerex's Multi-Mechanistic Cancer Therapeutic
Date:2/10/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Jennerex, Inc. (San Francisco, CA and Ottawa, Canada) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that the journal, Nature Reviews Cancer, has published an article about the company's promising, targeted and armed oncolytic poxviruses, which have demonstrated encouraging clinical and preclinical data. The article, published in the January 2009 issue, was authored by David H. Kirn, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Jennerex and Visiting Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Oxford, and Steve H. Thorne, Assistant Professor at the Departments of Surgery and Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

"We are honored that Nature Reviews Cancer considers oncolytic poxviruses to be such an important emerging field as to devote a full Perspectives Opinion to reviewing major recent advances. We are excited by the data that investigators have reported to date with our first-in-class cancer therapeutics. The lead product in this class, JX-594, is currently in Phase 2 testing for liver cancer and colorectal cancer. The Phase 1 intra-tumoral trial of JX-594 demonstrated objective tumor destruction in most patients, with multiple types of cancer, and we are now also studying systemic delivery of JX-594 in the clinic," stated Dr. Kirn. "Our next product from this class, JX-929, is now being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial."

The article reviewed the evolution of the field of oncolytic viral therapy. First-generation agents have shown limited efficacy in the past for technical reasons elucidated by Jennerex investigators. Previous technical obstacles have provided valuable information to guide Jennerex toward a completely new class of novel, oncolytic poxviruses, combining targeted and armed approaches for treating cancer. Initial preclinical and clinical results show that products from this breakthrough therapeutic class can systemically target cancers in a highly selective and potent fashion using a multi-pronged mechanism of action. Jennerex products replicate in cancer cells, leading to cancer cell destruction, while normal cells are left unharmed. The Phase 1 study results were recently published in prestigious journals Lancet Oncology and Molecular Therapy.

The poxvirus strain backbone of Jennerex's cancer therapeutics have been used safely in millions of people as part of a worldwide vaccination program against smallpox. This strain naturally targets cancer cells due to common genetic defects in cancer cells. The products are activated by genetic pathways that are critical to the vast majority of human cancers, such as the EGFR-ras pathway, and they employ a novel primary mechanism-of-action that is effective even against cancers that are resistant to standard therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation. Simultaneously, a therapeutic cascade is initiated by product replication resulting in tumor vasculature shutdown and anti-tumoral immune attack. In addition, these products are "armed" with immune-stimulatory GM-CSF that destroys cancers by complementary and synergistic mechanisms.

"This extensive scientific review examines the huge strides made in the field of viral therapy over the past 15 years," said Dr. Stephen Thorne, Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Coauthor.

About Jennerex

Jennerex is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of first-in-class, breakthrough targeted oncolytic products for cancer. The company's lead product JX-594, currently in an international Phase 2 trial for primary liver cancer and colorectal cancer, demonstrated promising Phase 1 efficacy and safety results in patients with a diverse array of common cancers. Jennerex's products target, attack and eradicate cancers through a novel and potent oncolytic mechanism that is dependent on highly-specific replication of the company's poxviruses in cancer cells. These products simultaneously stimulate the body's immune response to the cancer. Of note, this mechanism of action and the results in patients to date put the company's product class in a leadership position. Jennerex's therapeutic approach is markedly different from gene therapy and standard cancer vaccine approaches. Jennerex Biotherapeutics was established in San Francisco, CA and in Ottawa, Canada in 2006, with Dr. David Kirn (CEO) in San Francisco and Dr. John Bell (CSO) from the Ottawa Health Research Institute/University of Ottawa. For more information about Jennerex and the company's robust pipeline and three clinical-stage products, please visit http://www.jennerex.com.


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