Compounds Show Positive Effect Against SARS Virus

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Tamir Biotechnology, Inc. announces that scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed that testing of two of the company's compounds Onconase (Ranpirnase), and recombinant Amphinase 2 showed positive in vitro results for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus.

Tamir Biotechnology, Inc. announces that scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed that testing of two of the company's compounds Onconase (Ranpirnase), and recombinant Amphinase 2 showed positive in vitro results for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus.

In order to determine the effectiveness of a compound, NIAID uses a Selectivity Index (SI). The SI measures EC50 (50 percent virus-inhibitory (effective) concentration and EC90 (90 percent) cell inhibitory (cytotoxic) concentration determined in stationary cells. SI= (CC50 ÷ EC90). The SI scores for Onconase and recombinant Amphinase 2 when tested for SARS were 41 and 42 respectively.

"Many companies spend years in research and development and untold millions in the hope of developing a compound capable of demonstrating antiviral activity against a single virus. This week we've been able to report positive antiviral activity in Dengue and now SARS. With this new positive data, we are pleased to announce that scientists supported by the government have informed us they have recommended conducting studies in animal models for SARS in the near future," says Charles Muniz, CEO of Tamir.

SARS is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, called SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The virus is a potentially fatal new respiratory disease only recently recognized by scientists. In November 2002, a mysterious new respiratory illness began to sweep through the Guangdong province of southern China. Soon, the illness spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia before the virus was contained. SARS symptoms include high fever, headache, an overall feeling of discomfort, and body aches. Most patients develop pneumonia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 8,098 people worldwide became sick with SARS during the 2003 outbreak. Of these, 774 died. No vaccines or drugs are currently available to treat or prevent SARS.

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