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VITAMED FILES PATENT CLAIMS FOR SMALL-MOLECULE GROWTH BLOCKERS; APPLICATION SEEKS BROAD CLAIMS FOR VITAMIN-B12 RECEPTOR ANTAGONISTS

 SEATTLE, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- VitaMed Inc., a Seattle-based biotechnology company and a subsidiary of the public Canadian company, VitaMed Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. (Alberta: VBL), today announced that it has filed its international patent application claiming compositions and uses of pharmacological agents to the cell receptor for vitamin B12.
 According to President and Chief Technical Officer A. Charles Morgan Jr., Ph.D., the development-stage company is pursuing an aggressive patent strategy to protect its proprietary vitamin-B12 receptor-control technology.
 "VitaMed has already filed its first U.S. patent application covering the use of antibodies and is now expanding its patent claims to small-molecule derivatives as vitamin-B12 receptor agents," said Morgan. "The company will file other patent applications claiming other forms of anti-receptor agents and other technologies to create growth blockers," said Morgan.
 Growth Blockers
 VitaMed's patent applications are concerned with vitamin-B12 transcobolamin II receptors, special proteins that are entry sites for vitamin B12 into cells undergoing cell division. The company is developing drugs aimed at regulating the activity of these receptors as a means of blocking uncontrolled cell growth in certain types of cancer and other diseases. The company's initial disease target is AIDS-related lymphoma (ARL), a rapidly increasing and highly malignant cancer of the lymph system in AIDS patients.
 Vitamin B12 is necessary for enzymes involved in DNA synthesis. Studies have shown that tumor cells die when deprived of vitamin B12, but normal cells deprived of the vitamin may remain alive and be "rescued" by re-supplying vitamin B12. Lacking the toxic side- effects of chemotherapy, growth blockers may be well-suited for the treatment of cancers in AIDS patients and others with weakened immune systems.
 Founded in 1992, VitaMed Inc. is engaged in developing proprietary growth-blocker drugs for the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases marked by uncontrolled cell proliferation.
 -0- 6/11/93
 /CONTACT: Warren Wheeler, VP, Business Development & CFO of VitaMed, 206-778-5260; or Charles Versaggi, Ph.D., of Gable/Versaggi BioCommunications, 408-358-4162, or Doug Ford of Enterprise Development Corp., 604-685-0114, both for VitaMed/
 (VBL.)


CO: VitaMed Inc.; VitaMed Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. ST: Washington IN: MTC SU:

JL-LS -- SD002 -- 0937 06/11/93 08:01 EST
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Date:Jun 11, 1993
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