A San Antonio-based biotechnology company has begun manufacturing and marketing a natural product nutritional supplement, Accelerated Action Fatty Acid, AAFATM , a special formulation and use of concentrated Omega-3 fatty acids that may help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment.

The first stage of the international patent  "Fatty Acids to Minimize Cancer Therapy Side Effects" was approved February 1, 2001. Patents for other uses are pending.

This use and pioneering formulation of omega-3 fatty acids is different from current products on the market, according to Dr. Mary Pat Moyer, president and CEO of INCELL. "We are all optimistic about the effects that AAFATM will have on improving the quality of life for chemotherapy patients, and expect that AAFATM will ultimately be approved by the FDA for that use," said the San Antonio research director.

While INCELL moved toward clinical trials, Moyer said her company decided to release AAFATM to the market as a nutritional supplement to improve general health of consumers. "A unique feature of the product is that consumers will be able to take an on-line Internet interview that may provide additional relevant information about the potential benefits and uses of AAFATM," she said. "Consumers who submit this important information will receive product discounts on future orders."

Drs. W. Elaine Hardman and Ivan Cameron, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in conjunction with INCELL, performed the early studies and tested the AAFATM formulation to validate its use as a protective supplement during cancer treatment of animals. The National Cancer Institute, the American Institute of Cancer Research, and the Susan B. Komen Foundation supported the studies.

When AAFATM was tested as a daily dietary supplement with the most common anti-cancer treatment drugs such as CPT-11 or adriamycin, it reduced the toxic gastrointestinal and blood cell changes seen in studies of cancer treatment drugs. Moyer said her research results showed "it was best if the animals had an AAFATM -containing diet prior to starting therapy.

"Furthermore, when human tumors were tested in pre-clinical studies, AAFATM not only reduced the side effects but the tumors grew slower, shrunk or died after several weeks of treatment," she said

Those subjects that included AAFATM in their daily diet with the chemotherapy also showed less inflammatory response. Omega-3s, such as AAFATM , are already recognized for improving heart and blood vessel health. Published scientific papers by INCELL scientists and others imply that AAFATM may be useful for cardiovascular and other diseases, such as arthritis. Other published research data has shown that Omega-3 enriched diets help prevent premature birth and improve infant eyesight.

Moyer said the next steps will include defined clinical trials for specific diseases.
"Based on the animal studies we are hopeful about the potential clinical benefits for human patients. AAFATM will be studied in breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate and other cancers, and in the many diseases where omega-3s have been implicated in positive health outcomes" said Dr. David Morrison, medical director for INCELL Corporation.

INCELL is currently offering AAFATM through its e-commerce website at www.incellonline.com or through the company's website at www.incell.com. INCELL is a San Antonio-based biotechnology company that provides customized innovative life science products and services.