Novel Viral Vaccine Protects Aids In Animal Model

Research Triangle Park, N.C., Nov. 11, 1998 -- BioStratum Incorporated announced today that its proprietary gene-attenuated virus vaccine candidates prevent the development of AIDS in monkeys. The report, published in the November Journal of Virology, documents the efficacy of two gene-attenuated virus vaccines that protect macaque monkeys against exposure to an HIV-1- based virus that produces AIDS. Opendra ("Bill") Narayan, Ph.D., D.V.M., director of the Marion Merrell Dow Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis at the University of Kansas Medical Center, conducted the study.

BioStratum also announced today the formation of a new subsidiary, TheraVax Incorporated, to expand current development efforts for a novel treatment for HIV infections that consists of a viral vaccine administered in combination with anti-HIV drugs. The goal of this new therapy will be to reduce or eliminate the need for continued drug cocktail therapy. All HIV-related technology currently licensed from the University of Kansas Medical Center to BioStratum, including a proprietary HIV-1-based AIDS animal model and the candidate gene-attenuated virus vaccines, will be transferred to TheraVax for development and commercialization.

"With more people living with HIV infection, the need is great for an affordable, effective treatment such as a therapeutic vaccine that does not have the harmful side effects of the current anti-HIV drug therapies," says Archie Prestayko, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of BioStratum.

In the Journal of Virology study, Narayan and his colleagues tested the protective effects of the viral vaccines by exposing the immunized monkeys to a highly pathogenic hybrid virus named KU-SHIV-1, which Narayan developed three years ago. KU-SHIV-1's inner structure is derived from SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) and the virus' outer surface, or envelope, is derived from HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus). The compos

Contact: Anjani Shah, Ph.D.
212-696-4455 x.340
Noonan/Russo Communications

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