ARIUS presents new findings showing therapeutic antibody inhibits human leukemic cancer stem cells

    - Data on ARIUS' novel CD9 therapeutic antibody to be presented at AACR
    Special Conference on Cancer Stem Cells -

    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - ARIUS Research Inc., (TSX: ARI), a biotechnology
company discovering and developing the next wave of antibody therapeutics,
today announced that new information on the preclinical activity of its
anti-CD9 cancer stem cell antibody will be presented at the AACR Special
Conference on Cancer Stem Cells entitled "The Role of Cancer Stem Cells in the
Initiation and Propagation of Tumorigenesis," held on February 12th-15th in
Los Angeles. The Company will disclose data demonstrating that its CD9
antibody not only targets leukemia cancer stem cells, but also leads to a
dramatic reduction in their capacity to self-renew or give rise to further
leukemia. These findings were discovered in collaboration with John E. Dick,
PhD, the Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology with the University Health
Network in Toronto, Canada.
    The poster presentation (Wednesday, February 13th 2008, from
4:30-6:30 pm) will outline the activity of ARIUS' anti-CD9 antibody,
AR40A746.2.3, against acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The long-term survival
expectation for patients with AML is poor due to disease relapse and
resistance to chemotherapy. CD9 appears to be an important driver for leukemia
and potentially other cancer stem cells, which often survive treatment,
continue to multiply and go on to seed new tumors. Studies of patients with
different types of cancer have demonstrated that the presence of CD9 can be
linked to lower survival rates. AR40A746.2.3 has previously been found to
control tumor growth and improve survival in pre-clinical breast and
pancreatic cancer models.
    "Since some cancer stem cells have been shown to be highly resistant to
traditional cancer therapies and are believed to contribute to treatment
resistance, the selectivity of ARIUS' anti-CD9 antibody for leukemic cancer
stem cells represents an exciting opportunity in cancer therapy," said Dr.
John E. Dick. "The ability to target leukemic cancer stem cells while
potentially leaving normal stem cells intact may provide a more effective
means for increasing survival and decreasing relapse in AML and possibly other
forms of leukemia."
    "ARIUS is very pleased to collaborate with Dr. John Dick, a pioneer in
the cancer stem cell field. Prior to collaborating with Dr. Dick, our CD9
antibody demonstrated potent anti-tumor activity in several pre-clinical solid
tumor models. Our antibody also appears to be a specific cancer stem cell
inhibitor, suggesting that it may become an important drug and forge new paths
for the treatment of cancer," said Dr. Daniel S. Pereira, Vice President of
Research of ARIUS. "We have identified large and small animal toxicology
models suitable for further studies of AR40A746.2.3 and we are on track in the
development of this molecule for human clinical trials."

    CD9 is a potential marker of acute myeloid leukemia stem cells (LSC) and
    serves as a LSC-specific therapeutic target. Poster Session A, Wednesday,
    Feb 13th 2008, from 4:30-6:30 pm in the Concourse Ballroom of the Los
    Angeles Marriott.

    AR40A746.2.3, a functional antibody that targets CD9, has previously been
shown to have anti-tumor and survival benefits in animal models of human
breast and pancreatic cancer. CD9 is highly expressed and differentially
expressed in AML versus normal stem cells (42.7+10.1% verus 9.9+2.8%).
Preliminary experiments show that targeting CD9 with AR40A746.2.3 inhibits
human AML outgrowth in the NOD/SCID mouse xenotransplant model. In secondary
transplantation experiments, treatments with AR40A746.2.3 dramatically reduced
the self-renewal capacity of AML cancer stem cells.

    About ARIUS

    ARIUS is a biotechnology company discovering and developing the next wave
of antibody therapeutics. Established in 1999, ARIUS has built a proprietary
technology platform, FunctionFIRST(TM), that rapidly identifies and selects
antibodies based on their functional ability to affect disease. This antibody
generation engine has enabled ARIUS to assemble a portfolio of more than 500
antibody candidates. In addition to the antibodies it is developing in-house,
ARIUS has ongoing partnerships with key biotechnology and drug development
companies. ARIUS is listed on the TSX under the symbol "ARI". For further
information, visit

    Forward-Looking Statements

    Certain statements in this news release constitute "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995, which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors that may cause our actual results to be materially different from any
future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such
statements. Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not
limited to, ARIUS successfully advancing its new product programs as well as
licensing opportunities. These statements are only predictions and actual
events or results may differ materially. Factors that could cause such actual
events or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements to
differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by such
statements include, but are not limited to: early stage of development;
technology and product development; dependence on and management of current
and future corporate collaborations; future capital needs; uncertainty of
additional funding; no assurance of market acceptance; dependence on
proprietary technology and uncertainty of patent protection; intense
competition; manufacturing and market uncertainties; and government
regulation. These and other factors are described in detail in ARIUS' Annual
Report, forthcoming news releases and other filings with Canadian securities
regulatory authorities available at Forward-looking statements
are based on our current expectations and ARIUS is not obligated to update
such information to reflect later events or developments.

    %SEDAR: 00013708E

For further information:

For further information: Warren Whitehead, C.M.A., Chief Financial
Officer, ARIUS Research Inc., (416) 862-2323 ext. 214,,; James Smith, Investor
Relations, (416) 815-0700 ext. 229,

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