Biotech Company Partners With University of Colorado To Research Experimental HIV/AIDS Treatment
Azusa, Calif.-based Viral Genetics has agreed to partner with the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs to conduct research into an experimental HIV/AIDS treatment, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports. According to the agreement, Karen Newell, an associate biology professor at the university, will work over the next year to explain how the Viral Genetics-developed compound VGV-1 is effective in treating some people living with the disease.
VGV-1, which uses thymus nuclear protein in a suspension, appears to work by strengthening the body's immune system to enable it to fight HIV more efficiently, according to the company's Web site. Studies have shown it reduced HIV viral loads in some people. Newell's technology involves modulating the immune system and stimulating the body's process of attacking harmful cells. The company will provide $25,000 per quarter to UCCS to complete the research.
If the research is successful, Viral Genetics could receive FDA approval to use the compound in clinical trials in the U.S. The company said it plans to spend up to $600,000 to complete independent tests to confirm Newell's conclusions, the Gazette reports. Trials already have been conducted in Bulgaria, China, Mexico and South Africa. When Newell completes her research, Viral Genetics will acquire the rights to the research under the agreement.
Newell's "basic scientific research and discoveries appear to compliment (sic) the over 10 years of human clinical experience we have," Haig Keledjian, Viral Genetics co-founder and president, said in a release, adding, "The acquisition of these rights holds significant promise to finally" determine exactly how and why the compound works. "We not only want to show how and why the compound works, but also improve the product so that it works on all of the patients rather than just some of them," Newell said (Heilman, Colorado Springs Gazette, 1/7).