TORONTO, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. has been selected as
the inaugural recipient of the "Life Science Company of the Year" by The
Biotechnology Initiative. Amorfix was selected because of its pioneering
approaches to innovative diagnostic and therapeutic products for brain-wasting
diseases, including Alzheimer's Disease (AD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
(ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease), Parkinson's Disease (PD) and variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) for global markets.
"We are honoured to have been selected by The Biotechnology Initiative,
and pleased that Amorfix has been identified for its excellence in taking
technologies from the bench to the global market. Our vCJD blood test,
uniquely designed for living subjects, will lead to immediate protection of
the blood supply, and longer term more effective treatments for these baffling
diseases," said Dr. George Adams, President and CEO of Amorfix.
"Ontario is strong when it comes to innovative life sciences companies
that are globally competitive. Ontario-based companies like Amorfix are
working to quickly move their ideas and world-class research into the global
marketplace. That means good jobs for Ontario and hope for people and families
suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," said Ontario
Minister of Research and Innovation, John Wilkinson. "I commend The
Biotechnology Initiative for rewarding research and commercialization
excellence - and congratulate Amorfix for winning this year's award."
Amorfix's lead product is a blood test for vCJD to screen blood for
transfusions. People infected with vCJD, or "carriers", have infectious blood,
but may not show symptoms for many years - sometimes as few as 10 years, but
perhaps as many as 40 or 50 years. It is important to identify carriers who
test positive to ensure that the disease is not spread through donation of
blood or organs, or through the re-use of surgical instruments.
Amorfix is clearly in the lead in the race to commercialize a vCJD test.
"Our test has been shown to be 100% sensitive and 99.94% specific based on
studies of U.K. and France blood donor samples. It must be sensitive to not
miss infected donations and it must be specific to minimize false positives,"
added Dr. Adams.
The same approach used in the vCJD test can be applied to develop
diagnostic tests for the other misfolded protein diseases such as AD, PD, and
Amorfix has successfully demonstrated its treatments for ALS in
preclinical models to its partner Biogen Idec, a world leader in biotechnology
that has therapies for various diseases already on the market. The same
molecule known to misfold in ALS disease was detected in Alzheimer's disease
patients and so the therapies Amorfix developed for ALS are now being tested
in Alzheimer's animal models. Amorfix and the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research are funding the Alzheimer's research in Dr. Neil Cashman's laboratory
at the University of British Columbia.
About The Biotechnology Initiative
The Biotechnology Initiative represents and promotes life sciences
technologies and encourages their commercial success in Ontario through
Government advocacy, stakeholder engagement, mentoring and education and
promotion of Ontario's world-class science and industry.
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 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
Notes to Editors:
Go to http://ontbi.org/AboutTBI for more information on The Biotechnology
Go to www.amorfix.com for more information on Amorfix.
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; James Parsons, Chief Financial Officer, Amorfix Life
Sciences Ltd., Tel: (416) 847-6929, Fax: (416) 847-6899,