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Paper in Cell Cycle Reports Alfacell's ONCONASE(R) Targets siRNA
Date:10/9/2008

SOMERSET, N.J., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alfacell Corporation (Nasdaq: ACEL) today announced that a paper published in Cell Cycle (2008; Vol. 7, Issue 20) reports that ONCONASE (ranpirnase) targets small interfering RNA (siRNA), likely within the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) of the RNA interference (RNAi) mechanism.

The paper is the result of research conducted by collaborators at the Brander Cancer Research Institute and Department of Pathology at New York Medical College and Alfacell. The study demonstrated that silencing the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) gene (an abundant and ubiquitously expressed housekeeping gene) in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells by siRNA was effectively prevented by ONCONASE. While transfection of cells with GAPDH siRNA reduced expression of this protein by nearly 70 percent, the expression was restored in the cells exposed to ONCONASE for 48 or 72 hours. The data thus provide evidence that one of the targets of ONCONASE (ranpirnase) is siRNA.

"This data provide further evidence of the impact of ONCONASE on the RNAi mechanism," said Kuslima Shogen, Alfacell's chief executive officer. "Furthermore, the data may provide the explanation for the preferential effectiveness of ONCONASE toward tumor cells as well as its ability to sensitize cells to other antitumor agents. As seen in our Phase III clinical trial results, ONCONASE has demonstrated significant efficacy in patients with malignant mesothelioma that failed prior chemotherapy."

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
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SOURCE Alfacell Corporation
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