|October 17, 2001
|Hemispherx Awarded U.S. Patent on Novel Fusion Inhibitor of HIV
|Philadelphia, PA, Wednesday, October 17, 2001: Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (AMEX: HEB; HEBws) announced issuance of a major new patent (US Appl. 09/445,559) for an orally bioavailable inhibitor of HIV. The compound, designated "Oragen™ conjugate 33", is a member of a new class of HIV inhibitors which are designed to stop viral replication by preventing HIV from fusing (or joining) adjacent target cells in the body.
The new compound, licensed exclusively from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), was created by the ingenious coupling of a commonly available vitamin - vitamin B6 (folic acid) - to a specific small molecular weight nucleic acid (NA) - like material. The resultant drug was thus created to bypass potentially destructive enzymes in the stomach and thereafter to efficiently enter target cells previously infected with HIV. Recombinant DNA methodology ("cloning") was utilized to pinpoint the novel HIV disease fighting substances (proteins) triggered by cell exposure to Oragen™ conjugate 33.
A spokesperson said that the Company is actively building a broad portfolio of HIV compounds with novel mechanisms of action because of the growing problem of viral mutation and resultant drug resistance to many available therapies. With the present patent issuance, Hemispherx now has drugs in its portfolio with one or more of three (3) new mechanisms to potentially combat HIV - an immunologic augmentation mechanism, a direct replication inhibitor mechanism (called "transcription" inhibitor), and a cell fusion inhibitor mechanism - as embodied in the new US patent issuance.
Collaborative in vitro tests on the new compound were conducted with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and academic researchers in Europe.
Hemispherx Biopharma, based in Philadelphia, is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the manufacture and global clinical development of new drug entities in the nucleic acid (NA) class for chronic viral diseases and disorders of the immune system including CFS, HIV and hepatitis. Its flagship products are Ampligen® - being developed for CFS and drug-resistant HIV – and polyandenur, being developed for hepatitis B and C. It is conducting Phase III trials in CFS and Phase IIb trials in HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.hemispherx.net.
Information contained in this news release other than historical information, including the referenced US Patent on Novel Fusion Inhibitor of HIV, should all be considered forward-looking and are subject to various risk factors and uncertainties. For instance, the strategies and operations of Hemispherx involve risks of competition, changing market conditions, changes in laws and regulations affecting these industries and numerous other factors discussed in this release and in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Accordingly, actual results may differ materially from those in any forward looking statements. Additionally, all the referenced investigational drugs and associated technologies of the company are experimental in nature and as such are not designated safe and effective by a regulatory authority for general use and are legally available only through clinical trials with the referenced disorders. The forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgement as of the date of this release. The Company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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