Amorfix and BioMosaics collaborate to develop a blood test for liver cancer supported by grant from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research



    TSX: AMF

    TORONTO and BURLINGTON, VT, April 23 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
and BioMosaics Inc. today announced a collaboration to develop and
commercialize a blood-based assay for early detection of hepatocellular
carcinoma (HCC) or primary liver cancer. This effort is possible due to an
"Intellectual Property Development and Commercialization Program" investment
of $280,000 from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) to
Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
(Sunnybrook). The collaboration incorporates existing technology for the blood
test licensed to BioMosaics, plus new material from SRI needed to improve the
test, to be used for assay development at Amorfix. Pending successful
development, the product will be commercialized by BioMosaics through its
existing distribution network.
    The liver cancer blood test is based on antibodies to the biomarker
Glypican-3 (GPC3), discovered by Dr. Jorge Filmus at Sunnybrook. The
collaboration utilizes BioMosaics' expertise in the cancer biomarker area and
the assay development capability at Amorfix. "Our expertise in developing
highly sensitive blood assays is part of our core capabilities and we welcome
the opportunity to apply our knowledge to achieve a blood test for the early
detection of primary liver cancer," said Dr. George Adams, CEO of Amorfix.
Antibodies to GPC3 are sold worldwide by BioMosaics for use in pathology
laboratories to confirm HCC, and GPC3 is widely accepted as an
immunohistochemical biomarker of early HCC. "A robust and sensitive
immunoassay for detection of GPC3 circulating in the bloodstream will
facilitate monitoring and early detection of liver cancer in high-risk groups
such as people with chronic hepatitis," said Dr. Mark Allegretta, President of
BioMosaics.
    Under this commercial collaboration, BioMosaics will have the opportunity
to market the new test directly, as well as through its existing distributors,
and Amorfix will receive royalties on commercial product sales, as well as an
option to manufacture the assay kits and reagents for global distribution.

    About HCC

    HCC is the fifth most common cancer in the world, with approximately
600,000 new cases every year. It is the third most common cause of
cancer-related death. Early detection could significantly improve treatment
outcomes. The main risk factors are chronic Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus
infection. About 500 million people in the world have chronic hepatitis. Japan
has over 5 million people with chronic Hepatitis B or C, and is the country
with the most comprehensive approach to testing for HCC. Patients considered
at risk for HCC have blood tests as often as every 3 months and imaging
procedures up to twice a year. HCC is the most frequent cancer in China, and
causes over 100,000 deaths a year, affecting men mainly 30 to 59 years old.
The incidence in North America has doubled in the last 15 years and is
increasing. Approximately $1 billion is currently being spent annually
worldwide to screen the disease using surrogate serological markers and
imaging such as ultrasound.

    About Amorfix

    Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX:AMF) is a theranostics company developing
therapeutic products and diagnostic devices targeting misfolded diseases
including neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. It has specific programs in
vCJD, ALS and Alzheimer's Disease. Amorfix's proprietary Epitope
Protection(TM) (EP) technology enables it to specifically identify very low
levels of aggregated misfolded proteins (AMP) in a sample containing normal
protein. Aggregated misfolded proteins are a common element of many brain
wasting diseases and cancer. Amorfix has shown antibodies and vaccines to
misfolded proteins are therapeutic in preclinical animal models. Amorfix's
lead programs are a diagnostic blood screening test for vCJD and a therapy for
ALS.

    About BioMosaics

    BioMosaics is a privately-held cancer biomarker development company
located in Burlington Vermont. The Company is engaged in the development and
commercialization of innovative products for the early diagnosis, prediction,
monitoring and treatment of cancer. For more information about BioMosaics,
visit www.biomosaics.com.

    About Ontario Institute of Cancer Research

    OICR is a not-for-profit corporation funded by the Government of Ontario
through the Ministry of Research and Innovation. To find out more about OICR
and the "Intellectual Property Development and Commercialization Program",
visit www.oicr.on.ca/Commercialization/programs2.htm

    About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

    Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care.
It is an internationally recognized leader in research and education that is
fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and one of Canada's premier
academic health sciences centres. To find out more about Sunnybrook, visit
www.sunnybrook.ca

    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: 00022789E




For further information:

For further information: Dr. George Adams, President & Chief Executive
Officer, Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd., Tel: (416) 847-6959, Fax: (416) 847-6899,
george.adams@amorfix.com; James Parsons, Chief Financial Officer, Amorfix Life
Sciences Ltd., Tel: (416) 847-6929, Fax: (416) 847-6899,
james.parsons@amorfix.com; Mark Allegretta PhD, President & Chief Scientific
Officer, BioMosaics Inc., Tel: (802) 656-5442, m.allegretta@biomosaics.com

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Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.

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