Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Biochemistry, Moscow, Russia and the University of Maryland Announce NIH R01 Award to Develop a New generation of non-nucleoside RT HIV inhibitors avoiding HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders
29th March 2017: Fuquay Varina – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently awarded a total of $596,379 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Biochemistry, Moscow, Russia and the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland to identify new non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase anti-Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) compounds.
HIV infection, the virus causing acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is one of the most important pathogens affecting mankind. Predominantly a disease of poverty, HIV affects young adults in their most productive years and hence also carries a large economic burden. Numbers published by the World Health Organization are bleak: in 2015, approximately 2.1 million new cases of HIV were reported and over 1.1 million people died from the disease. HIV can be managed, albeit with a cocktail of 3-4 antiretroviral drugs that need to be taken regularly. Side effects are a concern for these drugs that need to be taken for decades. A large number of patients develop HIV associated neurological disorders (HAND) which results in minor problems with memory to severe dementia-like symptoms.
New anti-HIV compounds, selected specifically for their ability to overcome the growing list of HIV strains that are resistant to established drugs, are beginning to populate a small pipeline of potential future drugs but there is a need for more due to the potential to fail in the clinic or earlier.
“This academic-industrial collaboration between the Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Human Virology, and Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. aims to identify new non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase anti-HIV compounds. We will also determine the suitability of the compounds for treating patients with HIV associated neurological disorders which may provide a clinical advantage.” said Sean Ekins, CEO CPI.
“From a screening library of several thousand compounds, we found 80 hits that display relatively potent anti-HIV activity. Combining traditional genetic and cutting-edge analytical tools, we have already identified the virus targets for some of these hits.” stated Dr. Vadim Makarov, Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Biochemistry.
“We are excited to start this collaborative effort towards the development of new antiretrovirals that are active against drug resistant mutants, which constitute a problem in the treatment of HIV-positive patients; as an added value, we will evaluate compounds for activity in test systems that are relevant to neurological complications of AIDS” said Dr. Alfredo Garzino-Demo, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
“We are very grateful to NIAID for funding this collaborative RO1 and look forward to demonstrating how we can cost-effectively collaborate to develop commercially viable drug candidates. We have a world class team of researchers with deep expertize in HIV chemistry and biology involved, which is incredibly exciting and we hope to use our drug discovery and development expertise to help translate the research quickly,” said Dr. Ekins.
About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with leading academics, companies and foundations to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience in preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/
About Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Biochemistry, Moscow, Russia
The Federal State Institution “Federal Research Centre “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of the Russian Academy of Sciences” was established in 2014, by the reorganization of the A.N. Bach Institute of Biochemistry RAS via inclusion of S.N. Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology RAS and the Center of Bioengineering RAS. The strategic goal of the Research Center of Biotechnology RAS is to create scientific and technological basis for the bioeconomy development, the integrated use of renewable raw materials and waste, the design of new bioactive compounds, the improvement of efficiency and sustainability of agricultural production, the insurance of food safety and quality. For more information, please visit http://www.fbras.ru/en/
About the Institute of Human Virology
Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland, and the University of Maryland Medical System, the IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally-recognized and world-renowned experts in all of virology. The IHV combines the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology, and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders – most notably, HIV the virus that causes AIDS. For more information, visit www.ihv.org and follow us on Twitter@IHVmaryland.
For further information, please contact:
Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.
CEO and Founder,
Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510
Raleigh, NC 27606