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Pre-Clinical Data Show Intracellular Pathways Affected by ONCONASE(R)

SOMERSET, N.J., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alfacell Corporation (Nasdaq: ACEL) today announced that in vitro and in vivo data presented at the 5th Cancer Drug Research & Development conference show the genes affected and biological pathways impacted by ONCONASE stimulated intracellular events as revealed by expression profiling of human malignant mesothelioma cell lines. Data presented also show that ONCONASE conjugates effectively kill human cancer cells in cell culture and murine models of cancer.

Susanna Rybak, Ph.D., a member of Alfacell's scientific advisory board, presented a poster entitled "ONCONASE (ranpirnase): Intracellular Activity and Extracellular Selectivity." The data demonstrated that 181 genes were consistently up- and down-regulated by ONCONASE and that the genes involved in triggering apoptosis (programmed cell death) and the intracellular MAPK signaling pathway were impacted by ONCONASE in vitro. Additionally, pre-clinical data in mice demonstrated the relative potency of chemical conjugates of ONCONASE. These findings further support the research of next generation targeted ONCONASE fusion proteins in an effort to develop compounds with improved tumor penetrating abilities. The research was conducted in collaboration with Alfacell at Fox Chase Cancer Center and the University of Duisburg-Essen.

"This work may explain the intrinsic anti-tumor activity seen after ONCONASE treatment through the identification of the specific genes affected and the biological pathways impacted," said Dr. Rybak. "Additionally, this data is helping us to better understand the optimal intracellular pathways for developing antibody targeted ONCONASE compounds."

"The data presented further illuminates the potential for ONCONASE to simultaneously switch on and off numerous genes controlling major regulatory processes in the cell life cycle, and underscores that ONCONASE works selectively and does not appear to kill cells indiscriminately," added Kuslima Shogen, Alfacell's chief executive officer. "This research represents an important step forward in our continuing efforts to create targeted ONCONASE fusion proteins and to bring them forward into the clinic."


ONCONASE is a first-in-class product candidate 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

Safe Harbor

This press release includes statements that may constitute "forward- looking" statements, usually containing the words "believe," "estimate," "project," "expect" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that would cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, uncertainties involved in transitioning from concept to product, uncertainties involving the ability of the company to finance research and development activities, potential challenges to or violations of patents, uncertainties regarding the outcome of clinical trials, the company's ability to secure necessary approvals from regulatory agencies, dependence upon third-party vendors, and other risks discussed in the company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By making these forward-looking statements, the company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release.

Media and Investor Contact:

David Schull or Wendy Lau

Russo Partners


SOURCE Alfacell Corporation
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