SOURCE: Alios BioPharma

November 16, 2007 16:03 ET

Alios BioPharma Licenses RNase L Activators From Cleveland Clinic for Antiviral and Anticancer Therapeutics

Company Plans to Develop New Class of Broad Spectrum Drugs for the Treatment of Viral Diseases and Cancer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA and CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - November 16, 2007) - Alios BioPharma, Inc. and Cleveland Clinic today announced that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement focused on the development of small molecule RNase L activators for the treatment of a broad range of viral diseases such as chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C, HIV, influenza and others.

The technology is also applicable to the treatment of cancer for both solid tumors and hematological malignancies such as leukemia. The agreement grants Alios exclusive worldwide rights to Cleveland Clinic patents, technology and preclinical small molecules relating to RNase L activation which were developed in the laboratory of Robert H. Silverman, Ph.D. Dr. Silverman, Department of Cancer Biology, Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, is a world leader in the field of innate immunity with specific expertise in the RNase L system.

Under the terms of the agreement, Alios will provide Cleveland Clinic an upfront license fee, various development, regulatory and commercial milestones, and royalties on net sales. In addition, Alios will sponsor ongoing research at Cleveland Clinic for a period of two years. Alios will continue the research and development of these compounds with the goal of advancing molecules toward clinical development for both chronic and acute viral diseases and for cancer. The agreement covers the use of RNase L activators for all human, veterinary and agricultural applications.

RNase L is a key component of the host response to viral infections and is an important mediator of the innate immune-based antiviral pathway. Once activated, RNase L destroys the genetic code of the invading virus, thereby preventing viral replication. RNase L has been cloned and extensively characterized by the Silverman laboratory. Recent preclinical work on the small molecule RNase L activators discovered at Cleveland Clinic suggests that they have potentially broad-spectrum antiviral effects. Dr. Silverman has also demonstrated that RNase L activation can lead to anti-oncogenic effects in preclinical models.

"Our small molecule RNase L activators, while lacking cytotoxicity, have inhibited replication of every virus that has been tested to date. Our approach could potentially be useful in clinical settings where identification of the infectious agent is not possible prior to the initiation of therapy," said Dr. Robert Silverman.

"We look forward to working closely with Dr. Silverman and his team to advance this novel class of preclinical compounds into clinical development," said Lawrence M. Blatt, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Alios. "Several viral diseases and cancers remain difficult to treat and represent areas of significant unmet medical need. We view the RNase L target as a complementary approach to existing antiviral and anticancer therapies where the complexity of these diseases requires treatment with multiple agents with differing mechanisms of actions."

About Alios BioPharma

Alios BioPharma, Inc., an emerging biotechnology company headquartered in South San Francisco, California, is developing novel medicines to treat diseases in virology and oncology by activating pathways in the innate immune system. Alios is pursuing the development of protein and small-molecule therapeutics, each addressing major commercial market opportunities. Most advanced in the Alios pipeline is Glycoferon™, a long acting type 1 interferon that is more potent than existing interferon-based therapies and is currently in preclinical development.

About CCF Innovation

CCF Innovations, the technology commercialization arm of Cleveland Clinic, stewards the Clinic's technology innovation strategy. It enhances product-oriented innovation throughout Cleveland Clinic and transforms promising therapies, devices and diagnostics into beneficial medical products, via spin-off companies, licensees and equity partnerships.

About Lerner Research Institute

The Lerner Research Institute is home to all laboratory-based research at Cleveland Clinic. Its mission is to understand the causes of human diseases and to develop new treatments and cures. The Lerner Research Institute is ranked fifth in NIH funding among all U.S. research institutes. More than 1,000 scientists work in research programs focusing on cardiovascular, cancer, neurologic, musculoskeletal, allergic and immunologic, ophthalmic, metabolic, and infectious disease. The Institute also is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University -- training the next generation of physician-scientists.

Financial Interests

The Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Silverman, and other members of the Staff at the Clinic have financial interests in Alios.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2006, there were 3.1 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. There were more than 53,000 hospital admissions to Cleveland Clinic in 2006. Cleveland Clinic's Web site address is

Contact Information

    Alios BioPharma
    Lawrence M. Blatt, Ph.D.
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Email Contact

    Cleveland Clinic
    Brian Kolonick
    Media Relations Manager
    Email Contact