Woodridge, Ill. (September 3, 2003) - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a patent to Advanced Life Sciences (ALS) for a novel class of indolocarbazole compounds. The lead molecule of this class, ALS-423, has been shown to be effective against a variety of human tumor cell lines. ALS-423 blocks a critical enzyme in cancer cells called topoisomerase I.

The issued patent (US Patent 6,605,596) is the company‚Äôs first of a series of applications for this class of molecules. “Receipt of this patent is very important because it broadens and strengthens our development portfolio of oncology drugs. ALS made the discoveries that support this patent using its own technology platform. Thus, we possess all aspects of its development and future licensing potential,” said Michael T. Flavin, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Advanced Life Sciences.

The USPTO granted ALS broad coverage including 42 claims on the compounds composition of matter as well as their use as anti-cancer agents. “We plan to move quickly into the preclinical development phase and will use this technology as a platform for partnering with a large pharmaceutical company.”

Indolocarbazoles represent a therapeutically important new class of anti-tumor agents targeting topoisomerase I. Currently, only two anti-topoisomerase I drugs, topotecan (Hycamtin) and irinotecan (Camptosar), have been FDA-approved for clinical use and have combined annual sales of over $1 billion. These drugs are from another class of compounds named camptothecins. Due to side affects associated with these camptothecins, there is a need for second-generation compounds such as indolocarbazoles, which may be safer and more selective anti-cancer agents.

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.

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