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Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), Immtech International, Inc. (IMM) And University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill Sign Agreement To Develop A New Treatment For Malaria



10/19/2005 5:09:22 PM

GENEVA and VERNON HILLS, Ill., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), Immtech International, Inc. and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) announced today that they have signed a partnership agreement to develop a new drug candidate, DB289, for the treatment of malaria.

Malaria is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. Every year, more than one million people die from the disease, most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa.(1) Beyond the human toll, its economic impact is staggering with Africa losing an estimate $12 billion in GDP as a result of the diseases.(2) The dramatic resurgence of malaria in the recent years can be directly attributed to multi-drug resistance. Currently, antimalarial drugs are the only way to treat 300-500 million cases of malaria suffered annually.(2) However, the lack of effective and affordable drugs is making treatment of malaria increasingly challenging.

The development of this new anti-malarial candidate is already in progress. The new agreement will launch DB289's human clinical trials in Africa, Asia and South America to assess its safety and efficacy for uncomplicated malaria. Immtech will carry out the clinical development work. UNC-CH will provide research support in testing drug activities. MMV will provide project oversight and necessary funding for the clinical development. All of the partners will work together to rapidly advance DB289 through clinical trials and regulatory approval.

"We are very excited about our collaboration with Immtech and UNC at Chapel Hill," said Dr. Christopher Hentschel, CEO of MMV. "DB289 is one of MMV's accelerated projects. We have high hopes that this new drug candidate will become an effective treatment for malaria -- a disease with devastating economic and social impacts on the world's poorest populations."

"MMV's partnership with Immtech and UNC is a strong validation of our business model, and the ability of the dication technology platform to create new oral drugs. Infectious diseases like malaria are difficult to cure and have a devastating impact on the world economy and the health of global communities," commented Stephen Thompson, President and CEO of Immtech. "Our partnership with MMV will accelerate the development of a new oral drug that will solve a major health problem."

About MMV:

Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) was officially launched on 3 November 1999 as a nonprofit foundation dedicated to reducing the burden of malaria in disease endemic countries by discovering, developing and delivering new affordable antimalarials through effective public-private partnership. After four years of operation, MMV is managing the largest portfolio of malaria research in history with 21 projects in different stages of drug research and development. For further information please consult http://www.mmv.org/.

About Immtech:

Immtech International, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development and registration of oral treatments for infectious diseases such as pneumonia, fungal infections, malaria, tuberculosis, and hepatitis and tropical diseases such as African sleeping sickness and Leishmaniasis. The Company has worldwide, exclusive rights to commercialize a dicationic pharmaceutical platform from which a pipeline of products for various indications may be developed targeting large, global markets. For further information, please consult Immtech's web site at http://www.immtech.biz/.

1 The World Health Report 2002: reducing risks, promoting healthy life. Geneva, WHO 2002 2 Communicable Diseases 2002: Global Defense Against the Infectious Disease Threat. Geneva. WHO 2002

Immtech International, Inc.; Medicines for Malaria Venture

CONTACT: F.C. Thompson, +877-898-8038, for Immtech International Inc.;Anna Wang, Communications Officer of MMV, +41-22-799-4078 (office),+41-79-204-2875 (mobile), Fax - +41-22-799-4061, wanga@mmv.org


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