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Alfacell's Onconase Highlighted in Latest Edition of Handbook of,Therapeutic 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 Alfac
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