TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences, a company focused on treatments and diagnostics for brain wasting diseases, announced today that its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. George Adams, will present Amorfix's EP-vCJD(TM) blood screening test for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease ("vCJD") at the Sixth World Federation of Hemophilia ("WFH") Global Forum on the Safety and Supply of Treatment Products for Bleeding Disorders in Montreal, Quebec at 11:00 am ET on Friday, September 25, 2009.
WFH Global Forums bring together patient groups, regulators, representatives from industry and not-for-profit fractionators, as well as doctors who treat people with bleeding disorders to address the safety and supply of blood and plasma fractions for bleeding disorders.
Dr. Adams commented, "Early this year, the UK Health Protection Agency confirmed the first case of vCJD in one of the thousands of hemophiliac patients who received potentially contaminated plasma fractions. While the patient ultimately died of causes other than vCJD, this news has served to amplify the calls from hemophilia patients in the UK and around the world for their respective governments to protect the blood supply through routine testing of blood donations. Universal testing would provide peace of mind for hemophiliacs and their families and identify anyone already incubating vCJD so counseling could be provided to potential victims."
"My message at the WFH Global Forum will be one of hope in starting to answer those calls," continued Dr. Adams. "As previously reported, a total of 30,000 blood donations have been collected and tested with our EP-vCJD(TM) screening assay at two blood transfusion centers in France. In both centers using two lots of test kits, the EP-vCJD(TM) screening test performed better than the 99.85% specificity required by the UK Blood Transfusion Service and therefore meets the required performance standard for routine testing."
vCJD is a rare and fatal human form of a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy ("TSE") diseases caused by prions. Other TSEs are bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("BSE") in cattle, scrapie in sheep and goats, and chronic wasting disease in deer, elk and moose. Since 1996, a few hundred people living in or visiting Great Britain and other European countries have come down with vCJD due to the consumption of BSE-infected meat. People can incubate prion disease for 30 to 50 years and could be capable of transmitting it to others throughout that time. Indeed, it is estimated that more than 20,000 people are currently incubating the disease in the UK. Five people have been infected through blood transfusions and thousands of people have received blood fractions made from vCJD-infected plasma. There is a general concern that vCJD is now within the blood transfusion systems and, as a result, a screening assay for blood is urgently required.
About the EP-vCJD(TM) Blood Screening Assay
Approximately 81 million units of blood are collected annually and tested for infectious agents, such as HIV-1 and hepatitis viruses at a cost of more than US$4 billion. Until now, however, there has been no way of protecting the complete blood supply by testing for vCJD. Amorfix is changing that through the Company's development of EP-vCJD(TM) - a test for the presence of vCJD prions in human blood that allows for the selective detections of prions and not the precursor normal protein.
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX:AMF) is a theranostics company developing therapeutic products and diagnostic devices targeting brain-wasting diseases including ALS, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD). Amorfix's proprietary Epitope Protection(TM) (EP) technology enables it to specifically identify very low levels of aggregated misfolded proteins (AMP) in a sample of normal protein. Aggregated misfolded proteins are a common element of many brain wasting diseases and the ability to identify AMPs and understand their structure and mechanism of folding are the first steps to developing new treatments for these devastating diseases. Amorfix's lead programs are a diagnostic blood screening test for vCJD and a therapy for ALS.
This press 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.
SOURCE Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr. Neil Cashman, Chief Scientific Officer, Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd., Tel: (778) 994-2626, Fax: (416) 847-6899, email@example.com