Lorus Therapeutics Announces a Key Scientific Publication on Therapeutic siRNA in Cancer Therapy

    TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - Lorus Therapeutics Inc. ("Lorus") (TSX: LOR;
AMEX:   LRP), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the research and
development of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of
cancer, today announced publication of scientific data from preclinical
studies demonstrating the antitumor activity of its lead small interfering RNA
(siRNA) candidate, siRNA-1284.
    The article titled "RNA interference targeting the R2 subunit of
ribonucleotide reductase inhibits growth of tumor cells in vitro and in vivo"
was published online today in the peer-reviewed journal Anti-Cancer Drugs and
will appear in print in the April issue. The paper presents data indicating
that siRNA-1284 significantly decreases the expression of the R2 subunit of
ribonucleotide reductase in a range of human tumor cell lines in vitro. Lorus'
research demonstrates that down-regulation of R2 led to a significant decrease
in tumor cell growth and subsequent cell cycle inhibition in vitro.
    siRNA-1284 also demonstrated potent antitumor activity in vivo in
xenograft models of human cancers including renal cell carcinoma, melanoma and
colon adenocarcinoma. This article marks Lorus' first major publication of
detailed scientific findings for research in the area of RNA interference and
siRNA technology.
    "We are pleased with the publication of these data in Anti-Cancer Drugs
and see it as further validation of Lorus' progress in translating RNA
interference science into clinically relevant therapeutics," said Dr. Aiping
Young, Lorus' President and CEO. "Gene silencing by RNA interference is a
valuable tool in gene function studies and a novel therapeutic approach to
drug development. The results presented in this publication further validate
R2 as an important antitumor target."

    About siRNA

    siRNA is a novel class of molecules that can decrease cellular target RNA
expression through an antisense process known as RNA interference (RNAi).
Because of its target specificity, RNAi is increasingly being examined as a
potential therapy for a variety of diseases including cancer. From an
evolutionary perspective, RNAi helps protect cells from viruses and
transposable genetic elements in addition to carrying out more routine
cellular tasks essential to development and growth. In mammalian cells siRNAs
have been shown to be the most effective tools for RNAi, allowing for the
development of clean and easily regulated methods for disruption of gene
expression. siRNA technology allows for a range of new applications including
target validation for drug discovery and medical therapeutics.

    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 has several product candidates in multiple
Phase II clinical trials and has completed one Phase II and one Phase III
clinical trial. 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

    Lorus Therapeutics Inc.'s recent press releases are available through the
Company's website at www.lorusthera.com.

For further information:

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

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