DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - April 29, 2009) - Dr. Charles A. Dinarello, professor of medicine
at the University of Colorado and acting CEO of Across America Financial
Services, Inc. (OTCBB: AAFS) and its subsidiary Omni Bio Operating, Inc.,
has been awarded the Albany Medical Prize in Medicine and Biomedical
Research along with two other distinguished recipients. The $500,000 prize
is the largest award in medicine and science in the United States,
surpassed worldwide only by the $1.4 million Nobel Prize in Medicine.
According to the press release issued by the Albany Medical Center, in
addition to Dr. Dinarello, Ralph M. Steinman, M.D., of Rockefeller
University, and Bruce Beutler, M.D., of The Scripps Research Institute in
La Jolla, CA, were also honored as co-recipients of the prize. The
recipients were honored at a news conference and luncheon held last Friday
at Albany Medical Center.
The Albany Medical Center press release also included the following
"Collectively, the work of these scientists has led to a dramatically
better understanding of the human immune system, in health and in disease,"
said James J. Barba, president and chief executive officer of Albany
Medical Center, who served as chairman of the National Selection Committee.
"That knowledge has already directly resulted in new therapies for people
with conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Crohn's disease
and cancer. And, the discoveries they have made about how the body senses
and responds to infection remain the basis of active research that holds
the promise of new and improved vaccines and innovative ways to harness the
power of the immune system to better fight viruses and bacterial illness.
Their achievements are nothing short of astounding."
This is the ninth year the Albany Medical Center Prize has been awarded. It
was established in 2000 by the late Morris "Marty" Silverman to honor
scientists whose work has translated from "the bench to the bedside,"
resulting in better outcomes for patients. A $50 million gift commitment
from the Marty and Dorothy Silverman Foundation to Albany Medical Center
provides for the Prize to be awarded annually for 100 years.
About Dr. Dinarello
Dr. Charles Dinarello's groundbreaking work is called cytokine biology. His
studies led to the development of anti-cytokine-based therapies in order to
block inflammation in various diseases. He and his colleagues opened an
entire new field of study that continues to be the target for new drugs by
major pharmaceutical companies. In the 1970s, while working at the National
Institute of Health (NIH) and later at Tufts University School of Medicine
with the late Sheldon Wolff, Dr. Dinarello identified and purified the
body's key fever-producing molecule, later named Interleukin-1 (IL-1).
Released by white blood cells during infections, injuries, some forms of
cancer, allergic and immune reactions, IL-1 tells the body to produce fever
and inflammation. Dr. Dinarello led the team that first cloned IL-1 in
1984, which was comprised of individuals from Tufts University,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Wellesley College. During the
next 25 years, many other interleukins were discovered and resulted in the
development of many drugs that are used to treat chronic inflammatory
As a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of
Medicine, Dr. Dinarello has focused on blocking cytokines to quell
inflammation. This work, together with the subsequent discovery of several
other Interleukins, has resulted in therapies for rare immune disorders and
more common ones, including Crohn's disease, diabetes, allergies,
rheumatoid arthritis, and graft-versus-host disease in transplant patients.
In addition, anti-cytokine therapies and the ability to manipulate
cytokines hold promise for treatment and/or vaccination for patients with
sepsis, cancer and viral diseases, including HIV.
Dr. Daniel Kastner, Clinical Director of the National Institute of
Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, wrote: "Dr. Dinarello is a
physician-scientist who has focused his considerable talents and efforts in
elucidating the pathways that lead to fever and inflammation in man. For
many years his contributions have had a monumental impact on our
understanding of human biology, and in the past decade they have profoundly
influenced the practice of medicine."
The Albany Medical Center Prize is the second major award to Dr. Dinarello
during 2009. On May 11 of this year, Dr. Dinarello will receive the Royal
Swedish Academy of Sciences' Crafoord Prize from the King of Sweden in a
ceremony in Stockholm. Dr. Dinarello is receiving this award for his
pioneering work in isolating interleukins, determining their properties and
exploring their role in the onset of inflammatory diseases.
About Across America Financial Services
Across America Financial Services Inc. has been operating as a
development-stage company, trading under the symbol "AAFS" on the OTC
On March 31, 2009, Across America Financial Services completed the
acquisition of Apro Bio Pharmaceutical Corporation ("Apro"), a
developmental stage biopharmaceutical company, in conjunction with a $1.87
million dollar financing led by an institutional investor.
As the licensee of a number of issued and pending patents from the
University of Colorado, Apro has been advancing several broad spectrum
therapeutics targeting bacterial and viral diseases, biohazards, diabetes
and transplant rejection. Upon shareholder approval, which is anticipated
soon, AAFS plans to change its name to "Omni Bio Pharmaceutical, Inc." in
order to better reflect the company's new direction. The company's core
technology is based on discoveries made at the University of Colorado
involving novel therapeutic agents already approved for use in humans.
Vicki D. E. Barone, the chairperson of Across America Financial Services,
stated: "Dr. Dinarello's award as co-recipient of the Albany Medical Center
Prize is further confirmation of the importance of blocking inflammation
with novel therapies developed by scientists at the University of
About Omni Bio Operating (Formerly Apro Bio Pharmaceutical Corporation)
Omni Bio Operating, Inc. of Greenwood Village, Colorado, a subsidiary of
Across America Financial Services, Inc., a company which will be renamed
Omni Bio Pharmaceutical, Inc., was formed to acquire, license, and develop
existing novel therapies which have substantial commercialization
potential. The company has secured three licensing agreements with the
University of Colorado Denver which include various patent applications
related to the composition of matter and method of use for treating
bacterial infection such as bacterial pneumonia, tuberculosis and anthrax;
an issued patent for treatment of various forms of viral infection like
HIV, influenza and potentially the "bird flu;" and more recently a patent
application related to the method of use and treatment of diabetes as well
as organ graft rejection.
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strategies; the levels and availability of government sponsored research
programs including possible funding from the Project Bio-Shield Act of 2004
and the Pandemic and All Hazards Act of 2006; lack of commercial revenues;
delays in the possible development of a commercial market for products due
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Additional risk factors may be found in the company's Form 8-K of Across
America Financial Services, Inc., a company which will be renamed Omni Bio
Pharmaceuticals Inc. filed March 31, 2009, and in other documents filed by
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