Additional Patent Granted for Promising Melanoma Drug

Advanced Life Sciences collaborates with University of Illinois at Chicago on cancer research

Woodridge, Ill (July 17, 2003) - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued an additional patent for the use of betulinic acid, also known as ALS-357, and its derivatives as a method for treating cancer. The patent was granted to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) which is collaborating with Woodridge, Ill-based Advanced Life Sciences to advance ALS-357 and its derivatives as anti-cancer agents. The lead ALS-357 compound, has demonstrated efficacy in animal models to treat and prevent malignant melanoma, a common, but frequently fatal form of skin cancer.

John Pezzuto, PhD, formerly with UIC's College of Pharmacy and now dean of Purdue University's College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Services and Tapas K. Das Gupta, MD, PhD, professor and head of Surgical Oncology at UIC's College of Medicine, are the primary inventors of this technology. Advanced Life Sciences has acquired the exclusive worldwide license to commercialize the technology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"This new patent coverage expands Advanced Life Science's intellectual property portfolio in ALS-357 and its derivatives as potential anti-cancer agents," said Michael Flavin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Life Sciences. "Our melanoma research continues on a productive track and the issuance of this additional patent serves to increase the number of possible therapeutic options that are available for investigation."

The patent (No. 6,569,842), which applies to ALS-357 and its derivatives, was granted for compounds, pharmaceutical compositions and methods of use in the treatment of cancers including melanoma. ALS-357 is derived from birch bark and works by promoting the death of certain cancer cells. It has demonstrated pre-clinical activity against human melanoma.

Advanced Life Sciences ( is a privately held biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of novel drugs in the therapeutic areas of infection, cancer, and inflammation using its platform in natural products and chemical proteomics coupled with expertise in drug development.