SemBioSys confirms commercially viable levels of Native APO AI in safflower

    TSX symbol: SBS

    - Canadian Biotechnology Company has now established commercial levels of
    both native Apo AI and Apo AI(Milano) variant in safflower seed lines -

    CALGARY, Oct. 18 /CNW/ - SemBioSys Genetics Inc. (TSX:SBS), a
biotechnology company developing a portfolio of therapeutic proteins for
metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, today announced that it has achieved
the commercial threshold of apolipoprotein AI (native Apo AI) accumulation in
safflower seed. While SemBioSys confirmed in a press release dated August 22,
2007 that it had achieved commercially viable levels of the Apo AI(Milano)
variant, it has now also attained commercial levels of native Apo AI in
    "These results confirm that we have successfully achieved our commercial
threshold for native Apo AI accumulation in safflower, in addition to
achieving the Apo AI(Milano) variant threshold, which together represent a key
milestone in our cardiovascular drug development program and which open
further opportunities for partnerships. We believe that plant-produced Apo AI
will overcome the cost and capacity challenges of manufacturing Apo AI with
traditional fermentation-based production systems, making it an attractive
candidate for any pharmaceutical company with a presence, or desire to create
a presence, in the cardiovascular market," said Andrew Baum, President and CEO
of SemBioSys Genetics Inc. "We intend to perform the necessary preclinical
work during the remainder of 2007 and 2008, and anticipate initiating clinical
trials in 2009 of safflower-produced Apo AI. In the meantime, during the
fourth quarter of 2007 we intend to perform the necessary work to confirm that
Apo AI produced in our model plant system, Arabidopsis, is functionally
equivalent to natural Apo AI in mammals."
    The Company currently intends to partner one, or both, of the native
Apo AI and Apo AI(Milano) variant programs prior to or shortly after Phase I
clinical trials in 2009. SemBioSys believes its proprietary oilbody-oleosin
production system offers the potential to overcome the manufacturing cost and
capacity challenges of traditional fermentation-based technologies that have
impeded the commercial development of Apo AI-based therapies.

    About Apo AI

    Apo AI is a developmental-stage cardiovascular therapy, designed to
rapidly stabilize and diminish atherosclerotic plaque for the prevention and
treatment of cardiovascular disease. Apo AI is believed by many clinicians to
be the basis for the next generation of cardiovascular drugs, which
represented a $35 billion market in 2006. Apo AI is the major apolipoprotein
associated with HDL, commonly referred to as "good cholesterol", which
naturally removes plaque from arteries.
    In a six week clinical trial, Esperion Therapeutics (acquired by Pfizer
in 2003) demonstrated that its Apo AI(Milano) variant/phospholipid formulation
could reduce plaque volume at a level and speed of atherosclerotic regression
unattainable with any current drug therapy. Similarly, both CSL Limited and
Borean Pharma A/S have more recently confirmed the strong therapeutic
potential of their respective Apo AI-based drug candidates (CSL-111 and
Trimeric Apo A-I) in clinical and preclinical trials.
    High dosing (up to 20 grams per course of patient treatment) coupled with
a large patient population is expected to drive volume demand of several
tonnes of Apo AI per year, underscoring the value of a highly scalable plant
manufacturing solution.

    About Cardiovascular Disease

    Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of
mortality in developed nations and by 2010 are projected to become the leading
cause of mortality worldwide. In the United States coronary heart disease and
stroke account for 70% of cardiovascular-related deaths, which claims more
lives each year than the next four leading causes of death combined (cancer,
respiratory disease, accidents and diabetes). Drugs positioned in the
cholesterol and triglyceride management market are the single largest class of
prescription pharmaceuticals, with global sales exceeding US$35 billion in

    About SemBioSys Genetics Inc. (

    Calgary, Alberta-based SemBioSys Genetics Inc. is a biotechnology company
developing protein-based pharmaceuticals for metabolic and cardiovascular
diseases. The Company's lead pharmaceutical candidates, produced in the plant
host safflower, are recombinant human insulin to serve the rapidly expanding
global diabetes market and Apo AI, a next generation cardiovascular drug. In
addition to its pharmaceutical products, SemBioSys is developing a series of
non-pharmaceutical products addressing human topical, nutritional oils and
animal health markets.

    This press release contains certain forward-looking statements,
including, without limitation, statements containing the words "believe",
"may", "plan", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipate", "intend",
"expect" and other similar expressions which constitute "forward-looking
information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws.
Forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectation and
assumptions, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These
forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not
limited to, changing market conditions and market size, the acceptance of an
IND by the FDA in respect of clinical studies and the successful and timely
completion of clinical studies, the fact that Apo AI is currently a
development stage drug, the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact
of competitive products and pricing, new product development, uncertainties
related to the regulatory approval process and other risks detailed from
time-to-time in the Company's ongoing filings with the Canadian securities
regulatory authorities which filings can be found at Given
these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue
reliance on such forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no
obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements either
as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required
by applicable Canadian securities laws.

For further information:

For further information: SemBioSys Genetics Inc., Mr. Andrew Baum,
President and Chief Executive Officer, Phone: (403) 717-8767, Fax: (403)
250-3886, E-mail:, Internet:; Investor
Relations, Ross Marshall, The Equicom Group Inc., Phone: (416) 815-0700 (Ext.
238), Fax: (416) 815-0080, E-mail:

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