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Viral Genetics Identifies Crucial Peptides for Potential HIV/AIDS Drug

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Sky:
Announced today.

 

 

Press Release
   

Source: Viral Genetics, Inc.

Viral Genetics Identifies Crucial Peptides for Potential HIV/AIDS Drug
Tuesday January 9, 11:30 am ET

AZUSA, Calif., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Viral Genetics (OTC Bulletin Board: VRAL - News) has identified two key peptides involved in its thymus nuclear protein or "TNP" technology currently under development for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The active components of VGV-1, Viral Genetics' lead drug candidate based on TNP, were discovered by independent research laboratories and additional studies to confirm these findings are currently underway.

The compounds identified include two classes of peptides (small protein fragments) that occur naturally in a variety of mammals, including humans. While both have been studied and reported in the scientific literature predominantly as markers, their therapeutic uses have not been actively pursued to date.

In published studies, one of the peptides has been characterized as an immune modulator, possibly possessing natural antiviral and anti-infective properties. Researchers have also identified an association between levels of this peptide and certain viral infections and cancers.

"From a scientific perspective, this may be a very important discovery for Viral Genetics and, if confirmed, could shed insight into our understanding of TNP and VGV-1. By having the active components isolated, we should be able to identify the mechanism of action and determine optimal dose. These are critical requirements in the process of improving the antiviral effects of the product and moving towards US clinical trials," said Dr. Eric Rosenberg, Chairman of the Company's scientific advisory board and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

"While these results are preliminary and we are working rapidly to confirm them, this is a significant milestone for Viral Genetics and could greatly accelerate our development efforts in the United States and worldwide. Our hope is that the broad body of existing knowledge on the active compounds in the literature may also enhance our drug development pipeline," said Haig Keledjian, president and CEO of Viral Genetics, Inc.

In recent studies, a reduction of HIV viral load was observed in a subset of patients after treatment with VGV-1 versus patients receiving placebo. As reported in the Company's poster presentation at the 2006 XVI International AIDS Conference, VGV-1 treated subjects also demonstrated apparent beneficial immunological changes when compared with placebo.

The World Health Organization estimates approximately 40 million people are now living with HIV. Even with the available treatments for AIDS, there are large numbers of people that need alternative therapies and hope remains that progress will be made in discovering new therapies that bolster patients' immune systems.

About VGV-1

VGV-1 is a therapy based on thymus nuclear protein which is extracted from bovine thymus tissue. As a type of immune-based therapy, it focuses on boosting the immune system to allow the body to fight HIV more efficiently. Thymus nuclear protein technology has been studied in five human clinical trials for the treatment of HIV infection and AIDS.

About Viral Genetics

Viral Genetics, Inc. is a biotechnology company that discovers and develops immune-based therapies for HIV and AIDS using its thymus nuclear protein compound. This compound may have other potential applications for other infectious, autoimmune, and immunological deficiency diseases that the company intends to study in the future. Viral Genetics believes that VGV-1 represents a significant and unique approach to treating HIV due to the apparently novel mechanism, low toxicity profile, simple dosing regimen, and short-course of treatment. Online at www.viralgenetics.com

For additional information, please contact Viral Genetics at 626-334-5310.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties associated with clinical development, regulatory approvals, and other risks described by Viral Genetics, Inc. from time to time in its periodic reports filed with the SEC. VGV-1 is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or by any comparable regulatory agencies elsewhere in the world. While Viral Genetics believes that the forward-looking statements and underlying assumptions contained therein are reasonable, any of the assumptions could be inaccurate, including, but not limited to, the ability of Viral Genetics to establish the efficacy of VGV-1 in the treatment of any disease or health condition and the development of studies and strategies leading to commercialization of VGV-1 in the United States. Therefore, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements included in this release will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking statements included herein, the forward- looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Viral Genetics or any other person that the objectives and plans of Viral Genetics will be achieved.


Source: Viral Genetics, Inc

Some more information from their site.  Receive previous via email.

Press Release
Source: Viral Genetics, Inc.

Viral Genetics' AIDS Study Yields Encouraging Results
Monday July 24, 11:00 am ET

AZUSA, Calif., July 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Viral Genetics' (OTC Bulletin Board: VRAL - News) first double-blind, placebo-controlled study of VGV-1 for the treatment of HIV and AIDS showed positive results consistent with four previous human trials of the drug. Results indicate statistically significant reductions in viral load (the amount of HIV in the blood) in some patients, only mild adverse events attributed to the drug, and a mechanism of action that appears to be markedly different than existing HIV therapies.

Viral Genetics is working toward a therapy that could have a positive impact on the large numbers of people infected with HIV, which in 2005 was estimated at 38.6 million people worldwide by UN AIDS (a joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS).

VGV-1 is a suspension of thymus nuclear protein given through intramuscular injection. During the 137-patient study, statistically significant reductions in viral load were seen in 22% of patients that were equivalent to a 70% decrease in the amount of virus in the blood at day 150 (approximately three months after treatment). "The initial clinical trial results are intriguing as there appears to be some antiviral effect that is sustained well after the last administration of VGV-1. It is important to conduct further studies to determine the precise mechanism of action and whether these initial effects can be enhanced. VGV-1 may have a totally different mechanism of action from existing antiretrovirals and that could be good news for people who need new options," said Dr. Eric Rosenberg, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and a member of Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of Viral Genetics.

The study shows that patients who began the study with reduced immune function did best on VGV-1. Of the patients that started the study with lower CD4 counts, 36% had a greater drop in viral load at day 150 and 25% maintained this result at day 240. CD4 cells are a key element in the formation of an immune response to viruses and other foreign bodies. Reducing HIV viral load is the only known way to delay disease progression.

One of the interesting findings is that in a subset of individuals, HIV viral load was maintained at lower levels for 3 months after the drug was given suggesting the product may be an immune modulator. This is unique to the extent that the duration of the effect of treatment with VGV-1 in this subset appears to be prolonged. Patients typically see viral loads return to pre-treatment levels within several weeks after stopping highly-active antiretroviral therapy. Highly-active antiretroviral therapy is the standard HIV treatment in the United States.

"Given that South Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the world, it is an important region in which to study VGV-1. We are currently continuing to monitor all of the patients from the recent clinical trial and evaluating our next steps there. We will continue actively pursuing our plans to improve HIV therapies and look into possibilities that VGV-1 may have positive benefits for other diseases that weaken the immune system or where a strengthened immune response would be beneficial," stated Haig Keledjian, President and CEO of Viral Genetics.

"We are excited about the opportunities that continue to unfold with this drug. What began as a method for detecting HIV is evolving into a potential therapy for HIV and AIDS, and we hope it will lead to other immune therapies as well. Over the coming weeks we will discuss treatment potential with researchers and scientists, particularly in the field of immunology, to further shape our clinical development plan," said Harry Zhabilov, Executive Vice President of Research and Development of Viral Genetics. The Company will be presenting a portion of the results from the South African study on August 16, 2006 at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada. Additional results and study data is available by request at info@viralgenetics.com.

About VGV-1
VGV-1 is a thymus nuclear protein therapy extracted from mammalian thymus tissue. As a type of immune-based therapy, it focuses on boosting the immune system to allow the body to fight HIV more efficiently. It was discovered by Dr. Zhabilov Sr. and has been studied in five human clinical trials for the treatment of HIV infection and AIDS. Studies have been conducted in Africa, "the global epicenter of the AIDS pandemic" as noted by the UN AIDS 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, as well as China, Mexico, and Eastern Europe. A pre-IND application has been filed in the United States for VGV-1.

About Viral Genetics
Viral Genetics, Inc. is a biotechnology company that discovers and develops immune-based therapies using its thymus nuclear protein compound for HIV and AIDS along with other infectious, autoimmune, and immunological deficiency diseases. Viral Genetics believes that VGV-1 represents a significant and unique approach to treating HIV due to the apparently novel mechanism, low toxicity profile, simple dosing regimen, and short-course of treatment. Online at www.viralgenetics.com

For additional information, please contact Kirsten Ayars at 805-452-7909.

Optimistic:
Thanks for the post.  It's great to hear about new discoveries.  It keeps the hope alive.

Hugs,
Justin

J220:
Fantastic...I had no idea about this drug candidate. Now that they identified the specific compounds they should be able to develop this faster.

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