Lorus Therapeutics Provides an Update on Progress in Virulizin(R) Development Program



    TORONTO, July 9 /CNW/ - Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (TSX: LOR, AMEX:   LRP)
("Lorus" or the "Corporation"), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in
the research and development of pharmaceutical products and technologies for
the management of cancer, today announced progress made in the Virulizin(R)
development program, including the publication of two research studies on the
Virulizin(R) mode of action and the issuance of a new patent for Virulizin(R)
in Mexico.
    "Publication of these two studies in international scientific journals
adds significantly to our previous studies on Virulizin(R) anticancer
mechanisms and activities," commented Dr. Aiping Young, Lorus' President and
CEO. "In addition, allowance of a new patent strengthens the intellectual
property position for this product, and protects the potential for expanding
the use to other cancer indications in this jurisdiction."

    
                   New Virulizin(R) patent issued in Mexico
    

    The patent, titled "Immunomodulating Compositions from Bile for the
Treatment of Immune System Disorders", protects methods of treating several
cancers using Virulizin(R). This is the second patent issued in Mexico for
Virulizin(R), and extends patent protection for Virulizin(R) in this country
to 2016. Similar patents for Virulizin(R) have also been issued in a number of
other countries worldwide, including Canada, Australia, and the United States.
    Virulizin(R) is currently approved for the treatment of malignant
melanoma in Mexico. The new patent provides protection for the potential
treatment with Virulizin(R) of additional cancers, including ovarian and lung
cancers. Virulizin(R) composition, manufacturing process, and use in the
treatment of cancers are also protected in Mexico under an earlier patent
issued to Lorus in 2003.
    Virulizin(R) has demonstrated significant anticancer activity against a
wide range of human cancers in preclinical studies, and has been tested in
several clinical trials in solid tumor indications, including a Phase III
clinical trial in combination with gemcitabine in locally advanced and
metastatic pancreatic cancer. Lorus has reported that the overall survival
data in this Phase III study did not reach statistical significance, although
exploratory analysis yielded promising results in specific patient populations
including in patients with ECOG performance status of 0 or 1.
    In April 2008, Lorus' subsidiary GeneSense Technologies entered into an
exclusive multinational license agreement for Virulizin(R) with Zor
Pharmaceuticals LLC to further develop and commercialize Virulizin(R) for
advanced pancreatic cancer and other therapy areas in North and South America,
Europe, and Israel.

    
            Virulizin(R) study leads to new drug candidate IL-17E
    

    The article entitled "Virulizin(R) induces production of IL-17E to
enhance antitumor activity by recruitment of eosinophils into tumors" was
published online in the journal Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy and is
available through PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/).
    The study showed that Virulizin(R) treatment stimulates the immune system
to produce the cytokine IL-17E, which in turn triggers an anticancer effect
through activation and tumor recruitment of eosinophils. This novel aspect of
the anticancer mechanism of action for Virulizin(R) adds to previous studies
showing that Virulizin(R) activates other cells of the immune system,
including macrophages and Natural Killer (NK) cells.
    A key finding of this report was that IL-17E itself had significant
anticancer activity when used in mouse models of human cancers. Preliminary
studies have revealed that IL-17E has potent activity against several human
tumor types, including colon cancer, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer, with low
toxicity. Lorus has patent applications pending in major markets, including
Canada, Europe and the United States, to protect the use of IL-17E in the
treatment of these cancers, both alone and in combination with other
chemotherapies.

    
     Virulizin(R) stimulates production of the antitumor protein TNFalpha
    

    The article titled "Virulizin(R), a novel immunotherapy agent, stimulates
TNFalpha expression in monocytes/macrophages in vitro and in vivo." was
published in the journal International Immunopharmacology (volume 7, issue 10,
pages 1350-9).
    The study revealed that treatment with Virulizin(R) resulted in a
significant induction of the cytokine TNFalpha in tumors in a mouse model of
malignant melanoma. Virulizin(R) also stimulated production of TNFalpha in
human macrophages in vitro. Importantly, a direct relationship between
TNFalpha production by Virulizin(R) and cytotoxic activity towards cancer
cells was demonstrated.
    TNFalpha is a protein that is produced by cells of the immune system,
particularly macrophages, which then activate other immune cells to attack
tumor cells. The anticancer properties of TNFalpha are well known, and have
been studied in both preclinical and clinical settings. These new findings
confirm initial studies indicating that TNFalpha can contribute to the
antitumor mechanism of Virulizin(R).

    About Virulizin(R)

    Virulizin(R) is a novel biological response modifier (or
immunotherapeutic agent) that stimulates a patient's immune system through
several mechanisms, including the activation of macrophages and the
infiltration of natural killer cells into tumors. In preclinical studies,
Virulizin(R) has demonstrated potential high levels of antitumor activity
against a number of cancer indications including pancreatic cancer.
Virulizin(R) has been granted orphan drug status and fast track status from
the United States FDA and orphan designation from the Marketing Authorization
Application with the European Medical Evaluation Agency (EMEA). A drug that
receives fast track designation must demonstrate that it is intended for the
treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and that it has the
potential to address unmet medical needs for the condition. Virulizin(R) is a
registered trademark owned by Lorus Therapeutics Inc.

    About Lorus

    Lorus is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research and
development of novel therapeutics in cancer. Lorus' goal is to capitalize on
its research, preclinical, clinical and regulatory expertise by developing new
drug candidates that can be used, either alone, or in combination with other
drugs, to successfully manage cancer. Through its own discovery efforts and an
acquisition and in-licensing program, Lorus is building a portfolio of
promising anticancer drugs. Lorus Therapeutics Inc. is listed on the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the symbol LOR, and on the American Stock Exchange under
the symbol LRP.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the
meaning of Canadian and U.S. securities laws. Such statements include, but are
not limited to, statements relating to: our research program plans, our plans
to conduct clinical trials, the successful and timely completion of clinical
studies and the regulatory approval process, our ability to fund future
research, our plans to obtain partners to assist in the further development of
our product candidates, the establishment of corporate alliances, the
Company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements
including words such as "continue", "believe", "plan", "expect", "intend",
"will", "should", "may", and other similar expressions. Such statements
reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to
risks and uncertainties and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates
and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by us are inherently subject
to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social
uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors could cause our actual results,
performance or achievements to be materially different from any future
results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements, including, among others: our ability to obtain the
capital required for research and operations, the inherent risks in early
stage drug development including demonstrating efficacy, development time/cost
and the regulatory approval process; the progress of our clinical trials; our
ability to find and enter into agreements with potential partners; our ability
to attract and retain key personnel; changing market conditions; and other
risks detailed from time-to-time in our ongoing quarterly filings, annual
information forms, annual reports and annual filings with Canadian securities
regulators and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
    Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should
the assumptions set out in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our Annual
Information Form underlying those forward-looking statements prove incorrect,
actual results may vary materially from those described herein. These
forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and
we do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update these
forward-looking statements, except as required by law. We cannot assure you
that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future
events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of
future performance and accordingly investors are cautioned not to put undue
reliance on forward-looking statements due to the inherent uncertainty
therein.
    Lorus Therapeutics Inc.'s recent press releases are available through the
Company's website at www.lorusthera.com. For Lorus' regulatory filings on
SEDAR, please go to www.Sedar.com. For SEDAR filings prior to July 10, 2007
you will find these under the company profile for Global Summit Real Estate
Inc. (Old Lorus).





For further information:

For further information: Lorus Therapeutics Inc., Dr. Saeid Babaei,
(416) 798-1200 ext. 490, ir@lorusthera.com

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