Tamir Reports Positive Effect Against SARS Virus

Tamir Reports Positive Effect Against SARS Virus
SOMERSET, N.J., Jul 21, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Tamir Biotechnology, Inc. (formerly Alfacell Corporation) announced today that scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed that testing of two (2) of the company's compounds Onconase(R) (Ranpirnase), and recombinant Amphinase 2 showed positive in vitro results for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, also known as (SARS) virus.

In order to determine the effectiveness of a compound, NIAID uses a Selectivity Index (SI). The SI measures EC50 (50% virus-inhibitory (effective) concentration and EC90 (90%) 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 anti viral activity against a single virus. This week we've been able to report positive anti viral activity in Dengue (http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=196757) 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," stated Charles Muniz, Chief Executive Officer of Tamir.

About SARS

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.

Why SARS Remains a World Health Concern

Even though the SARS virus has been contained today, we remain at risk for future viral mutations and should expect more dangerous new viruses to emerge over the next decade. HIV is one prime example of a mutated virus. These viruses come without warning, spread rapidly, and have a profound effect on the global economy. More important, respiratory illnesses spread quickly and over wide geographical areas.


NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) our Nation's Medical Research Agency. NIH is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria, and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism.

About Tamir Biotechnology, Inc.

Tamir Biotechnology, Inc. (formerly Alfacell Corporation) is the first company to advance a biopharmaceutical product candidate that works in a manner similar to RNA interference (RNAi) through late-stage clinical trials. The product candidate, ONCONASE(R), is an RNase that overcomes the challenges of targeting RNA for therapeutic purposes while enabling the development of a new class of targeted therapies for cancer, viruses, and other life-threatening diseases. For more information, visit www.tamirbio.com.

Safe Harbor: This press release includes statements that may constitute "forward-looking" statements, usually containing the words "believe," "estimate," "project," "expect" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that would cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, uncertainty whether the clinical trial results will allow the company to complete submission of a New Drug Application and if a New Drug Application submission is completed, uncertainty whether FDA will file or approve such application, uncertainties involved in transitioning from concept to product, uncertainties involving the ability of the company to finance research and development activities, potential challenges to or violations of patents, uncertainties regarding the outcome of clinical trials or differences of opinion in interpreting the results of clinical trials, the company's ability to secure necessary approvals from regulatory agencies, dependence upon third-party vendors, and other risks discussed in the company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By making these forward-looking statements, the company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com

SOURCE: Tamir Biotechnology, Inc.

CONTACT:  Tamir Biotechnology, Inc.
Charles Muniz, President, CEO and CFO
732-652-4525 X 203