Yale licenses potential anti-HIV agent to Oncolys BioPharma of Japan

New Haven, Conn. - Yale University today announced that it has concluded a license agreement granting Oncolys BioPharma, Inc. of Tokyo the global exclusive right for clinical and business development of a novel compound for the treatment of HIV.

A patent application has been submitted by Yale for 2',3'-Didehydro-3'-Deoxy-4'-Ethynylthymidine, or Ed4T, a compound with a new and potentially effective anti-HIV clinical treatment.

Ed4T is a thymidine analogue that blocks HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, the enzyme that is essential for viral replication. The compound was discovered and developed jointly by Professor Masanori Baba of Kagoshima University and Professor Hiromichi Tanaka of Showa University in Japan, and Yung-Chi Cheng, the Henry Bronson Professor of Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine.

"This license agreement was possible because Yale has shown keen appreciation of our corporate philosophy -- pharmaceutical development creating timely remedies for maximum patient relief," said Yasuo Urata, President and CEO of Oncolys BioPharma. "We will give this project our concentrated effort so that patients worldwide can have the benefit of 'Ed4T'as soon as possible." Pre-clinical studies have already begun and Oncolys BioPharma will accelerate the studies with a target of initiating Phase I/II clinical trials in 2008.

An estimated 20 million people worldwide have died from AIDS and 40.3 million are infected with the virus. In 2004, a reported 1,000 patients in Japan were infected -- and the numbers are rapidly increasing.

"Yale is very proud of the contribution it makes to fighting the HIV pandemic though discovery of novel antiviral drugs," stated E. Jonathan Soderstrom, Managing Director of the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, which is responsible for licensing technologies on behalf of Ya

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
Yale University

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