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Dimethaid to receive new European patents for immune regulation technology

http://www.newswire.ca/releases/July2003/17/c3079.html

July 17, 2003
Canada NewsWire
Toronto

European examiners have notified Dimethaid Research Inc. (TSX: DMX) that they intend to grant the company's wholly owned subsidiary, OXO Chemie AG, additional patents for its immune regulating technology in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The protection will remain in force until October 6, 2018.

The new patents will apply to the technology platform that supports Oxo's lead drug, WF10, extending European protection granted in 1992 to cover a much broader range of disease applications. The document entitled, "use of a chemically stabilized chlorite solution for inhibiting antigen-specific immune response" deals with the treatment of medical conditions associated with inappropriate or excessive antigen presentation - a crucial misstep in immune dysfunction. Patent claims cover potential treatment for autoimmune disease, organ transplant or graft rejection, lymphoma, and inflammation manifested as hepatitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The chlorite molecule, which Oxo has been studying since the 1980s, has three principal therapeutic objectives: blocking antigen presentation, preventing the release of cytokines and the proliferation of stimulated T cells, and inhibiting antigen-specific immune responses while stimulating phagocytic activity.

Inappropriate immune response has been implicated in up to 80 different autoimmune diseases. Conditions mentioned specifically in Oxo's European patent claims include colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn's disease, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus erythematosus, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, psoriasis, serum disease, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, Sjorgen syndrome, spondylarthropathies, sarcoidosis, as well as autoimmune forms of hemolysis, hepatitis, neutropenia, polyglandular disease, and thyroid disease. Autoimmune diseases affect an estimated 5 percent of the total population in Europe and North America.

In cases of organ transplant and tissue grafting, Oxo's patent points out that typical treatment involves suppressing immune response with cytotoxic chemicals. This can leave patients vulnerable to occult viral infections or neoplastic disease of the lymphoid cells. Success is further limited by the tolerance to these cytotoxic agents, which can also interfere with proper bone marrow function. Preclinical research has shown that Oxo's chlorite matrix can stimulate proliferation of hematopoeitic stem cells, suggesting benefits to developing WF10 as an adjunct therapy.

Earlier patents already cover using Oxo's chlorite molecule as an intravenous treatment for HIV infection. The new protection extends claims governing chronic inflammation - characterized by inappropriate macrophage activation - to include hepatitis B and C, as well as chronic hepatitis and obstructive pulmonary disease.

As a final area, the patent document describes possible applications in treating follicular lymphoma, a common and universally fatal disease, responsible for some 19,000 deaths annually in the US. Parts of the lymphoma process are believed to involve improper antigen processing or presentation, again suggesting a possible role for Oxo's chlorite molecule in therapy. The latest European claims include using the molecule to inhibit antigen-specific immune response in cases of lymphoproliferative disease, specifically lymphoma.

Previous European patents, granted to OXO Chemie AG between 1992 and 1997, cover the use of its chlorite molecule as an intravenous treatment for tumor-related disease, sepsis, bone marrow regulation and HIV infection.

About OXO Chemie AG

OXO Chemie AG is a Swiss-based, life sciences company focused on the development of immune regulating technology. A wholly owned subsidiary of Dimethaid Research Inc., the company conducts preclinical and clinical research in Europe and Thailand, and manufacturers tetrachlorodecaoxygen (TCDO) for use as an active chemical agent in therapeutic formulations. The company's lead product is an intravenous solution known as WF10.

About Dimethaid Research Inc.

Dimethaid Research Inc. is a publicly traded, Canadian, specialty pharmaceutical company headquartered in Markham, Ontario, with manufacturing facilities in Varennes, Québec and Wanzleben, Germany. The company develops and commercializes targeted therapeutic drugs designed to produce minimal side effects. Dimethaid's two technology platforms focus on immune system regulation and transcellular drug delivery. Products are aimed at expanding treatment options in oncology, immunology, rheumatology and the therapeutic management of chronic viral infections. For more information, please visit www.dimethaid.com.

This release may contain forward-looking statements, subject to risks and uncertainties beyond management's control. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed here. Risk factors are discussed in the Company's annual information form filed with the securities commissions in each of the provinces of Canada. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise forward-looking statements in light of future events.
 

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