WILMINGTON, DE, and MONTREAL, April 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Millenia Hope Inc., in consortium with the University of Pittsburgh and Rutgers University has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (USA) to receive more than $4.6 M over the next five years for a project "HIV RNase H natural product inhibitors" to develop novel HIV therapeutics directed at the under-explored HIV target ribonuclease H (RNase H). This research program is driven by Phytomics, a unique technology of Millenia Hope Inc., for the production and isolation of plant cell culture-derived natural products to inhibit HIV RNase H, a viral target that is essential for HIV-1 replication but for which there are no drugs in current clinical development.
The NIH award will support the efforts of an outstanding group of internationally-recognized investigators from three institutions. Dr. Michael A. Parniak, Professor of Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and Principal Investigator of this multi-team research effort, has nearly 20 years experience in HIV research and is regarded as a thought leader in the discovery of drugs targeting HIV RNase H. Dr. Parniak notes "This project has an excellent probability of discovering new HIV therapeutics. The research team we have assembled is world-class, and Millenia Hope's Phytomics technology provides not only a unique but a readily renewable resource for the discovery and production of novel HIV drugs."
Dr. Bahige M. Baroudy, President and CSO, Millenia Hope Inc., has extensive experience in development of new HIV therapeutics and was among the first to validate HIV entry as a therapeutic target. Structural biologist Dr. Eddy Arnold at Rutgers is one of the most highly cited HIV research scientists. Dr. Ronald Levy at Rutgers has developed unique computational methods to assist in design of new drug entities. The ultimate goal of the group is to develop a new class of HIV therapeutics that will be effective against the increasingly prevalent viral strains that are resistant to current drug therapies.
Dr. Baroudy noted, "Millenia Hope is honored that NIH recognizes our Phytomics technology as a source for novel HIV therapeutics. The NIH support and the willingness of world-class scientists; Drs. Parniak, Arnold and Levy to collaborate with us in the development of new drugs for the treatment of HIV infection is an excellent validation of of our Phytomics technology and our R&D programs." Dr. Baroudy also stated "Millenia Hope's accomplishments are a tribute to the sound scientific infrastructure in the Province of Quebec, Canada. We are also indebted to our shareholders who supported us over the years, especially in acquiring the patent in 2006 that describes the compounds that inhibit HIV RNase H. This collaborative research project with Drs. Parniak, Arnold and Levy will realize our objective of developing a new therapy for HIV."
ABOUT MILLENIA HOPE:
Millenia Hope develops innovative treatments and products that enhance the quality of life and has put in place programs to fight major infectious diseases and promote healthier lives. Our team is committed to research and development to deliver on global medical needs and to bring hope through healthcare solutions.
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MILLENIA HOPE INC.
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