Corporate update on vCJD test development
TORONTO, May 31 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences (TSX:AMF), a company focused on treatments and diagnostics for misfolded protein diseases, provides an update on the development of a blood test for vCJD, one of its six product development programs.
The company has been successful in developing versions 2 and 3 of the test, which differ in the sample preparation steps, and both are four times more sensitive than the first version which underwent testing with vCJD patient blood in December. The company has also been successful in obtaining a rare blood sample from a person in the clinical phase of vCJD. The new versions of the EP-vCJD tests were used to test this sample and it was scored negative by both versions of the test.
"Although we were able to achieve unprecedented sensitivity with brain prions diluted into blood, we have been unable to detect blood prions with the latest versions of the test," said Dr. Neil Cashman, CSO of Amorfix. "At this stage, we believe our other product development programs are a better use of our resources, although future research may prompt reevaluation of this assessment."
The Amorfix test and those of its competitors were developed using blood samples spiked with brain prions from vCJD patients. Amorfix successfully developed the most sensitive and specific test in the world and was the first to access human samples through the UK National Institute of Biological Standards and Control process. Subsequent significant improvements to the test in the last five months did not yield positive results, and the company has reached an impasse until scientific understanding improves or more vCJD patient blood is available. Accordingly the company will suspend the commercialization of the vCJD project allowing a more focussed effort on the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics which include:
- Our ProMIS(TM) antibody program targeting disease specific epitopes for both therapeutics and companion diagnostics for cancer and other misfolded protein diseases; - Growing the revenue from our A(4) amyloid testing service for cell culture, tissue and blood in animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD); - Development of a human Alzheimer's test adapting the A(4) test protocol to detect aggregated Abeta, the hallmark of the disease, in human plasma and cerebro-spinal fluid; - The advancement of our novel antibodies and vaccines for the treatment of ALS and AD; and - The contract for the development of a liver cancer early detection assay, which is nearing completion.
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX:AMF) is a theranostics company developing therapeutic products and diagnostic devices targeting misfolded protein diseases including ALS, cancers, and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Amorfix utilizes its computational discovery platform, ProMIS(TM), to predict novel Disease Specific Epitopes ("DSE") on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Amorfix's lead programs include therapeutics and companion diagnostics for cancers and antibodies and vaccines to DSEs in ALS and AD. Amorfix's proprietary technology enables it to specifically identify very low levels of misfolded proteins in a normal sample. The Company's diagnostic programs include an ultrasensitive method for the detection of aggregated Beta-Amyloid in brain tissue and blood of animal models of AD, months prior to observable amyloid formation, and a blood screening test for liver cancer. For more information about Amorfix, visit www.amorfix.com.
This information release may contain certain forward-looking information. Such information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by statements herein, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to it as well as other factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by the Company in its public securities filings, actual events may differ materially from current expectations. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
%SEDAR: 00022789EFor further information: Dr. George Adams, President & Chief Executive Officer, Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd., Tel: (416) 847-6959, Fax: (416) 847-6899, firstname.lastname@example.org; James Parsons, Chief Financial Officer, Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd., Tel: (416) 847-6929, Fax: (416) 847-6899, email@example.com