UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH REPORTS EXCITING PRECLINICAL RESULTS WITH DEMEGEN'S PEPTIDE TO THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH|
PITTSBURGH, PA - April 13, 1999: Demegen, Inc. (OTC BB: DBOT) announced today that the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) is presenting results of preclinical studies using the Company's patented D2A21 peptide at this afternoon's annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia, Pa. The report highlighted the new agent's promise against both aggressive and slow-growing prostate cancer types.
Demegen's D2A21 peptide is a laboratory-synthesized small compound that destroys a cancer cell by attaching to its surface and disrupting its outer membrane. At therapeutic doses, D2A21 is designed to target and lyse (eliminate) cancer cells, sparing the normal healthy cells and tissues.
Results of UPCI preclinical studies show the D2A21 compound was effective using several routes of administration, including intravenous, subcutaneous, and oral. Treatment with D2A21 did not cause any significant toxicities, according to the researchers who are now conducting additional preclinical studies in preparation for testing Demegen's compound in cancer patients.
“This agent represents a totally new way to attack cancer,” said Robert Getzenberg, Ph.D., principal investigator and assistant professor of pathology, pharmacology, medicine, and surgery who co-directs UPCI's Prostate and Urologic Cancer Center. “We're particularly encouraged that this agent is effective against metastatic prostate cancer, which is notoriously difficult to treat.”
In the preclinical experiments conducted at UPCI, investigators used Demegen's D2A21 to treat established aggressive prostate cancers in rats. The researchers found that D2A21 inhibited tumor growth by as much as 60 percent as compared to untreated animals.
In another experiment, researchers injected a group of rats with typically lethal numbers of cancer cells and simultaneously treated them with D2A21. Results showed that 75 percent of animals receiving D2A21 survived versus only 25 percent of animals that did not receive the peptide treatment. D2A21 was also able to reduce lung metastases by 90 percent.
Commenting on the report, Demegen CEO Richard Ekstrom stated, “We are very pleased with the results of studies conducted thus far at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. We look forward to continued reports from the researchers as they proceed towards human clinical trials.”
Demegen, Inc., founded in 1992, is a research and development firm that designs novel synthetic molecules for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases as well as disease resistant and nutritionally enhanced commercial crops. The Company currently generates revenues through licenses for two broad applications of its patented technologies to Dow AgroSciences LLC.
Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to, results of research and development, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies, increased competition, product development and commercialization, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.