Kucera Pharmaceutical Developing Chemical Molecule To Treat HIV/AIDS
Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Kucera Pharmaceutical Co. has announced that it is developing a new chemical molecule, KPC-2, that is "showing promise" as an experimental HIV treatment, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. The molecule, which is man-made but functions like a human cell, can be injected or taken orally, and preliminary tests have demonstrated that it is "safe and effective." The molecule is "most promising" for treating drug-resistant HIV, the Journal reports. A commercial lab is currently testing the molecule to determine if it is as effective when administered orally as opposed to being injected, as well as its bioavailability, how the body processes the molecule, how it is excreted and its long-term effects. Kucera CEO Russ Read said, "We're not sure how it works, but it's a new mode toward treating HIV." Louis Kucera, one of the founders of the company, said, "This is a self-standing molecule that has very potent activity against HIV," adding, "We've been making some nice progress." Read said that the company plans to seek FDA approval for KPC-2 as an investigational new drug in order to begin clinical trials; however, it could take up to five years before KPC-2 is available on the market (Swartz, Winston-Salem Journal, 1/10). The company is also working on a drug that combines lipids with zidovudine, or AZT. The treatment, called INK 20, stemmed from research on an anti-cancer drug created from man-made lipids (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/30/02).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.