Healthcare Industry News: NS5A
News Release - January 16, 2007
Presidio Pharmaceuticals Receives Exclusive License to Novel Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Technology from Stanford UniversitySAN FRANCISCO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Presidio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to novel Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) technology from Stanford University. This technology, invented in the lab of Stanford scientist Dr. Jeffrey Glenn, targets a specific region found in the HCV proteins NS4B and NS5A, viral proteins that are absolutely required for virus replication. Disrupting the normal function of these two proteins provides for a new method of HCV treatment and should combat the emergence of drug resistance to new HCV polymerase and protease inhibitors that will be on the market in the near future.
"We are very pleased to have licensed the rights to this exciting new technology developed by Dr. Jeffrey Glenn," said Omar K. Haffar, Ph.D., President and CEO of Presidio. "We expect to work closely with Dr. Glenn and other experts in the field to identify and test new small molecules that bind to NS4B and NS5A in order to interrupt the life cycle of the virus."
About the Hepatitis C Virus
Infections from the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have reached pandemic proportions, affecting almost 200 million people worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 3.9M Americans have been exposed to HCV, resulting in 2.7M cases of chronic infection, with up to 30,000 new infections occurring each year. Often known as the "silent epidemic," the virus is acquired through multiple routes and can remain in the host causing little or no symptoms for years before exerting its effects. Ultimately chronic HCV infection leads to serious liver disease (e.g., liver scarring and cancer) in 70% of those infected and is the leading reason for liver transplantation in adults. The current standard of care therapy is interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) given in conjunction with ribavirin, with nearly identical products marketed by Roche Pharmaceuticals and Schering Plough. IFN-alpha is a protein that nonspecifically stimulates the immune system, while ribavirin is a nucleoside analog that works in concert with IFN-alpha to control the infection. Unfortunately, only approximately 50% of HCV patients respond to this combination therapy, and those that do experience significant adverse events related to the treatment. With few alternatives available, new treatment options that are safer and more effective than current therapies will provide a significant health benefit for the chronically HCV-infected population.
About Presidio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Presidio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and marketing novel therapeutics for chronic virus infections, including HIV-1, CMV, and HCV. Presidio Pharmaceuticals was founded in April 2006 with an initial investment from Sagamore Bioventures, a life-sciences venture fund with headquarters in San Francisco, California, and from George Rathmann. www.presidiopharma.com.
Source: Presidio Pharmaceuticals
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