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CANTAB REPORTS PROMISING RESULTS ON DISC-VIRUS TECHNOLOGY AGAINST HERPES

 CAMBRIDGE, England, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists from Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: CNTBY), in collaboration with research groups at Cambridge and Sheffield Universities, today reported further encouraging results with their DISC-VIRUS(TM) approach to immunotherapy of genital herpes. The findings, presented at an international Keystone Symposium in Taos, N.M., reveal that Cantab's proprietary DISC-VIRUS technology is effective in preventing disease caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV 2) infection in a model system.
 Herpes infections involve the skin, mucous membranes and conjunctivas, with HSV 2 being usually responsible for genital herpes infections, a severe and recurrent form of the disease. It is estimated that more than 10 million people in the United States and Europe suffer from some form of primary or recurrent genital herpes, with approximately 500,000 new cases each year. After the primary site has healed, the virus remains latent in the body's central nervous system. Currently there is no adequate therapy to prevent recurrences of the disease, which can occur at any time.
 Cantab's DISC (Disabled Infectious Single Cycle) virus technology is used to produce genetically modified viruses. A DISC-VIRUS will stimulate a full immune response equivalent to a whole live virus but will not replicate and spread infection. In September 1992, Cantab announced that a prototype DISC HSV 1 vaccine proved a hundred times more effective in providing protective immunity against HSV 1 in a mouse model when compared to a conventional killed vaccine formulation.
 In the latest studies, reported in the UCLA Symposium on the Immunology of Virus Infections in Taos, N.M., immunization with the DISC HSV 1 virus provided a high degree of protection against the primary symptoms of genital infection resulting from HSV 2, with the mean number of lesions reduced by more than 90 percent following application of the DISC HSV 1 virus directly to the genital mucosal surface. Immunization by this route also resulted in a significant reduction in the frequency of disease recurrence following HSV 2 infection. Studies were conducted on guinea pigs, which represent the most widely used animal model for HSV 2 induced genital disease in humans.
 "We are very encouraged by these results," said Paul Haycock, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Cantab. "They illustrate the capacity of a DISC HSV 1 virus to induce a strong immune response that can protect effectively against HSV 2, as well as HSV 1 induced disease. We are excited about our plans to continue rapid progress in our research program."
 Cantab is engaged in the research and development of biopharmaceuticals that use the highly selective properties of the immune system to treat disease. The company has research and development programs in two principal areas: leucocyte modulators, which regulate or block immune system function, and therapeutic antigens, which activate specific immune responses. Cantab's initial therapeutic focus includes research programs in the prevention of organ transplant rejection, and the treatment of Crohn's disease and cervical cancer, as well as work on genital herpes. The company has established collaborations with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Cambridge University and with researchers at several other British academic institutions.
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 /CONTACT: Paul Haycock, M.D., of Cantab, in England, 011-44-223-423413; or Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D., of Noonan/Russo Communications, in New York, 212-979-9180, for Cantab/
 (CNTBY)


CO: Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc ST: New Mexico IN: MTC SU: ERN

GK-SO -- NY025 -- 8110 03/22/93 09:56 EST
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Date:Mar 22, 1993
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