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AlphaMed Pharmaceuticals Announces Breakthrough in the Development of Recombinant Alpha 1-Antitrypsin


3/7/2008 6:57:22 AM

LARGO, Fla., March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- AlphaMed Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced today that the Company has successfully expressed a humanized version of the therapeutic protein alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT). AlphaMed scientists expressed their recombinant AAT utilizing the Company's proprietary production system in yeast. The yeast has been genetically altered to produce a molecule "virtually identical" to that which is manufactured by the human body.

"This marks a major milestone for this company and AAT research," stated Joseph McGuirl, AlphaMed's CEO, "AlphaMed is the first company to develop an AAT molecule with glycosylation that resembles the human protein that is naturally secreted from the liver. The Company has begun to develop products to treat a variety of diseases including hereditary emphysema, COPD, asthma and cystic fibrosis." Joseph McGuirl joined AlphaMed in July, 2007 and is the former Head of Licensing and Development for Hoffmann-LaRoche.

"I am glad to confirm that the work progressed well so far," stated Dr. Roland Contreras Ph.D. of the VIB, University of Ghent located in Belgium who has been supervising AlphaMed's molecular biology. "The two complex sugars of the left arm have been added with good efficiency. This is an important milestone and in my opinion a glycoform worth purifying. It is a mammalian hybrid form."

Plasma-derived AAT is currently marketed by several companies for the treatment of hereditary emphysema and generates over $200 Million in revenues, annually. The plasma-derived AAT, however, is marked by shortages and blood contamination risks.

In addition, AAT plays a vital role in the inflammatory cascade and in many instances can act as a replacement for conventional steroids. Additional disease indications treatable by AAT therapy include atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and others. "The market potential for AAT therapies is in the billions," stated McGuirl, "and given AlphaMed's intellectual property position this news represents a major leg up for the company".

AlphaMed is currently seeking developmental partners to continue its research for both topical and injectible/inhalable AAT therapies. The Company has successfully completed its second round of financing and has initiated a third round to complete Phase I clinical trials and initiate Phase II clinicals.

AlphaMed Pharmaceuticals Corporation is a privately held biopharmaceutical company located in Largo, Florida. Incorporated in 1999, the Company is dedicated to the successful development of both pharmaceutical and over-the counter products for human and animal use. AlphaMed's product pipeline includes AAT for pulmonary and dermatological use as well as cromolyn sodium for a variety of topical indications. AlphaMed expects its first product to market in early 2009.

Source: AlphaMed Pharmaceuticals Corporation



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