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AlphaMed Announces Shipment of its Unique Cancer-Treatment Radioisotope.

Business Editors & Health/Medical Writers

ACTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2002

AlphaMed Inc. announced today that it has made the first of its radium-224 generator shipments from facilities at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Earlier, AlphaMed received a grant from the Department of Energy to privatize production of this isotope. AlphaMed contracted with PNNL to process the isotope and collaborate in the production of generators and development of more efficient processing techniques and generator systems.

The first shipments were delivered to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the University of Missouri (UMo). Drs. Martin Brechbiel (NIH) and Tom Quinn (UMo) are interested in lead-212 and bismuth-212, decay products of radium-224. The bismuth isotope is an alpha emitting radioisotope that is used for research in radioimmunotherapy with important applications for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Brechbiel is investigating metastatic ovarian and pancreatic cancer; Dr. Quinn metastatic melanoma. Dr. Quinn states, "Our bio-distribution work is very promising. The commercial availability of this generator system will enable the investigation of therapy studies in the near future." These researchers have achieved promising results with minimal side effects when the alpha emitting radionuclide is coupled with an antibody designed to target cancer cells. The high energy released by each alpha particle, combined with their short range and half-life, destroys each targeted cell with minimal damage to healthy tissue.

According to company president, Richard Testa, and vice president of isotope development, Herbert Moore, "We wish to thank our colleagues at PNNL for their part in the outstanding effort required to make this possible, and to acknowledge the support that we've received from Dr. Brechbiel and Dr. Quinn. We are pleased to make Ra-224 generators commercially available for research today and look forward to their use in cancer therapy in the future."

In addition, AlphaMed is conducting development that will make other isotopes commercially available. It is offering for delivery in 2003: actinium-225, indium-111, lutetium-177, copper-67, and others. The company is entering exploratory discussions with a venture partner to develop low-cost, high-purity yttrium-90. AlphaMed has an exclusive patent license from MIT, grants from the Department of Energy and the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention that enables it to develop its photonuclear reaction technology to produce radioisotopes that are currently available in limited quantities.
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Date:Dec 19, 2002
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