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 ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Advanced Biotherapy Concepts, Inc. (OTC BULLETIN BOARD: ADVB), announced the completion of an important first step of a new therapeutic intervention for the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Initial clinical testing of this treatment was conducted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Neb. The treatment differs from all others as it targets not the virus but an aberrant form of alpha interferon that is associated with HIV disease progression and implicated in the development of AIDS. The target protein may also play a role in HIV replication.
 The procedure, which passes a patient's plasma through an extracorporeal device containing antibodies which neutralize and capture the aberrant interferon, was tested on four patients with advanced AIDS. All four patients safely tolerated the procedure in five successive daily treatments, and the device successfully absorbed aberrant interferon from the patient's plasma. While testing of the safety and column efficiency were the primary objectives of the study, two of the four patients demonstrated a reduction of HIV viral load in their plasma following treatment. Two patients also showed a significant reduction of tumor necrosis factor, a known HIV activator, which can be induced in the laboratory by aberrant interferon.
 Dr. Simon Skurkovich, the president and founder of Advanced Biotherapy Concepts, Inc., said this initial clinical study is the first stage in the development of the company's planned anti-cytokine therapy for AIDS. He said by adding other antibodies to the device, an extracorporeal immunosorbent column, the procedure could be used to remove any combination of cytokines implicated in HIV replication and immune dysregulation in AIDS.
 Dr. Howard E. Gendelman, a professor of pathology and microbiology and medicine and a leading authority on interferon-HIV interactions, conducted the study with Dr. Susan Swindells at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Gendelman noted that this study for the first time allowed the collection of sufficient quantities of the unusual interferon for analysis. Preliminary examination indicates it to be a unique protein never before described. Gendelman said this may allow the development of tests to predict disease progression in patients with HIV.
 The company is now preparing a submission to the FDA for permission to expand the testing and to remove certain other cytokines besides aberrant interferon. Further trials will be designed to explore the effects of modifying the treatment schedule for a larger number of patients, with the goal of achieving long-term viral reduction.
 The company also plans to test the treatment on patients with classic autoimmune diseases that are associated with the presence of aberrant interferons, which may trigger and sustain autoimmune disease. These targeted include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, psoriasis and insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Skurkovich was the first to propose (in the journal Nature in 1974) that a disturbance in interferon synthesis could cause autoimmune disease and that treatment with anti-interferon antibodies could be beneficial. This has been widely confirmed in animal models and in some human clinical studies. Many researches increasingly believe that AIDS may also be an autoimmune disease.
 Based in Rockville, Advanced Biotherapy Concepts is a research and development company pursuing treatments for human immune system disorders including AIDS and classic autoimmune diseases.
 -0- 12/14/93
 /CONTACT: Jeanne Kelly or Neil Miller of Advanced Biotherapy Concepts, 301-770-7285/

CO: Advanced Biotherapy Concepts, Inc. ST: Maryland IN: MTC SU:

DC-DS -- DC004 -- 3509 12/14/93 09:07 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 14, 1993

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