LONDON, ON, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ - Viron Therapeutics' lead drug candidate, VT-111, has been selected as one of the top 10 most promising cardiovascular drugs in development, offering significant potential for strategic partnering. The selection was made by an independent committee assembled by Windhover Information, a leading provider of business information products and services to senior executives in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries.
The committee was led by Marc Wortman, PhD, contributing writer to Windhover's In Vivo and Start Up, and Ed Saltzman, president of Defined Health, a leading business development strategy consulting firm. Drawing on the analytic resources of both organizations, the group evaluated hundreds of compounds currently in development for the treatment of cardiovascular disease prior to selecting VT-111 among the top ten most attractive. The evaluation which ranked VT-111 among this top echelon measured a number of factors including:
- Unmet medical need
- Market potential
- Multi-level partnering opportunities (biotech and pharma)
- Potential for new opportunities beyond initial indications
- Diversity of indications
- History of the molecule and drug
- Strong science
- Strong company
"Selected companies have been screened using a strict set of judging criteria for the top 10 award, and represent what our committee considered the most attractive cardiovascular licensing opportunities the industry has to offer," stated Roger Longman of Windhover Information.
"We are honored to receive this distinction from such a reputable group of industry professionals, and welcome the additional validation it gives our VT-111 franchise," said Neil K. Warma, Viron's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are currently investigating VT-111 in a Phase II clinical trial and truly believe it could revolutionize the manner in which cardiovascular disease is being treated. It is very gratifying to get such a strong endorsement from this group."
Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Research Centre of the Montreal Heart Institute and Principal Investigator overseeing the IVUS core laboratory for the trial, added the following comments. "We are very encouraged by the data which indicates that VT-111 directly targets the underlying inflammation associated with atherosclerosis. We believe that VT-111 may be suited to treating the serious complications caused by inflammation in ACS and if VT-111's promise translates into the clinic, the drug could offer cardiologists a new and powerful tool with which to combat the disease."
As a selected company, Viron has been invited to present data on VT-111 at Windhover's Therapeutic Alliances Cardiovascular Conference in Chicago on November 16th, immediately following the American Heart Association (AHA) Conference.
Viron is currently enrolling patients in a multi-center Phase II clinical trial with VT-111 in patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) undergoing intervention. The trial, which is approved by the U.S. FDA and Health Canada, should provide confirmation of the potential of VT-111 as the first in a completely new class of therapeutic compounds for the treatment of inflammatory-based disorders. VT-111 will soon enter the clinic in its second indication, chronic organ rejection in transplant patients.
The completed Phase I clinical study demonstrated a strong safety profile with no adverse events and in pre-clinical testing, VT-111 has shown a remarkable ability to reduce atherosclerosis and increase the stability of vulnerable plaques that can cause heart attacks. The ability to translate this groundbreaking research into a life saving medicine will also help validate the Company's novel drug discovery platform, which in addition to VT-111 contains six drug candidates in preclinical development.
About Viron Therapeutics Inc.
Viron Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused upon the commercialization of novel anti-inflammatory therapeutics. The company is based upon the vision of the founding scientists, Grant McFadden, Ph.D. and Alexandra Lucas, M.D., who have extensive expertise in viral pathogenesis and interventional cardiology, respectively, and who have been instrumental in the development of the drug candidates for over a decade. Viron is focused on the development of therapeutics derived from viral proteins as a sustainable and unexploited source of novel drugs. Harnessing the evolutionary power of viruses that naturally produce potent anti-inflammatory proteins allows Viron to identify and develop powerful protein therapeutics that target the most effective pathways regulating the body's inflammatory responses to promote healing. More information is available at http://www.vironinc.com.
Viron Therapeutics Inc.