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Viral Genetics Has Option Under Issued Key Patent for Cancer Drug

May 21, 2009

SAN MARINO, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Biotechnology firm Viral Genetics, Inc. (Pink Sheets: VRAL), a company that discovers and develops drug compounds to treat cancer, Lyme Disease and HIV, has been issued a patent for novel cancer therapies. The patent protects cancer drugs that have been tested in pre-clinical research studies in mice. Issued on March 31, 2009, the U.S. Patent Number is: 7,510,710. Additional patents directed at generic classes of the drugs are still pending.

“This patent represents the first method for treating drug resistant cancer using metabolic disruption, an approach targeting the distinct cancer-specific metabolic activities that can distinguish cancer cells in general, and many drug resistant cancer types, in specific, from normal cells in normal tissues,” said M. Karen Newell, PhD., tenured professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Viral Genetics has certain exclusive licenses and options from the University of Colorado under previously filed patent rights, the work by Dr. M. Karen Newell and her group. Viral Genetics’ licenses and options with the University are in return for certain obligations and fees.

“We are very excited that the Patent Office has recognized the significance of work we first pioneered over eight years ago. The scientific community is now coming to accept the approach, metabolic disruption, as an extremely promising method for helping cancer patients.”

The new therapies use metabolic disruption as a treatment of cancers, including multi-drug resistant cancers. This process is accomplished by the administration of 2-deoxy-D-glucose to inhibit high rate glucose metabolism, characteristic of cancer cells. The administration of 2-deoxy-D-glucose can be used in combination with current, standard chemotherapeutics and/or in combination with etomoxir, an inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation. Drug resistant tumor cells commonly use fatty acid metabolism to meet their distinct energy requirements. Disrupting these metabolic pathways can cause apoptosis of the cancer cells without significant adverse effect on non-cancer cells.

Viral Genetics’ approach addresses one of the primary reasons chemotherapy and radiation are not always effective – the development of drug resistance. Although the standard therapies may initially destroy significant numbers of tumor cells, a small number of resistant tumor cells may be left behind. Those resistant cells then multiply to form newly detected tumors that are increasingly resistant to treatment. The growing popularity of “cocktails” of chemotherapy drugs has given rise to multidrug resistant tumor cells that are even more difficult to destroy.

Drug sensitive tumor cells, under the selective pressure of treatment with drugs, develop into drug resistant versions of the same tumor cell type. It is the drug resistant cells that take over, and with each round of chemotherapy the proportion of drug resistant cells to drug sensitive cells increases, to the point where recovery becomes more and more difficult. Eventually the cancer becomes untreatable.

“Drug resistance, either acquired or inherent, is the leading cause of death in cancer, a disease that kills at least 6.2 million people worldwide annually,” said Viral Genetics CEO Haig Keledjian. “Our new therapy takes aim at that process.”

Viral Genetics, Inc. is a biotechnology company that discovers and develops immune-based therapies for HIV, AIDS and other autoimmune diseases using its thymus nuclear protein compound (TNP). The company recently entered into an Exclusive License Agreement with the University of Colorado and V-Clip Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of the Company) to license technology developed by M. Karen Newell, PhD, that appears to explain TNP and provide a means to optimize therapies based on TNP for future clinical trials. Viral Genetics believes that its investigational HIV/AIDS drug based on TNP, called VGV-1, represents a unique approach to treating HIV due to the apparently novel mechanism, low toxicity profile, simple dosing regimen, and short-course of treatment. As a type of immune-based therapy, it focuses on boosting the immune system to allow the body to fight HIV more efficiently. VGV-1 has been studied in five human clinical trials for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Online at www.viralgenetics.com

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties associated with financial projections, budgets, milestone timelines, clinical development, regulatory approvals, and other risks described by Viral Genetics, Inc. from time to time in its periodic reports filed with the SEC and after March 25, 2009, filed on the pink sheets web site. 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, the development of studies and strategies leading to commercialization of VGV-1 in the United States, the obtaining of funding required to carry out the development plan, the completion of studies and tests on time or at all, and the successful outcome of such studies or tests. 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.

    Contact:
    Viral Genetics
    Haig Keledjian, 626-334-5310

SOURCE Viral Genetics, Inc.


Source: newswire



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