U.S.-Russian team announces breakthrough in fight against tuberculosis

Arlington, VA September 28, 2002 - U.S and Russian researchers announced today a major development in their joint efforts to find a treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in San Diego.

Since 2000, with funding from the U.S. Civilian Research and Development (CRDF), Cynthia Tuthill, Ph.D. of SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in San Mateo, California, and Alexander Kolobov, Ph.D. of Verta, Ltd., a biotech company in St. Petersburg, Russia, have been leading a team of scientists in pioneering clinical research with SCV-07, an immune-stimulating compound the scientists anticipate will lead to the production of an oral treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Alexander Kolobov presented evidence at the conference that Russian hospital patients who participated in the SCV-07 clinical trials showed a marked decrease in the presence of tuberculosis in the lungs. The patients also showed a significant reduction in ailments symptomatic of tuberculosis, such as fever, chest pain, and dry coughing.

The announcement is viewed as a milestone by the CRDF as the project is a successful example of what the foundation promotes: mutually beneficial scientific collaboration between U.S. industry and scientists and engineers and researchers from the former Soviet Union.

"Verta researchers have been investigating immune-stimulating compounds as a possible treatment for tuberculosis and our Russian partners brought with them an expertise that allowed us to move testing into the clinical stage much faster than would have otherwise been possible," said Cynthia Tuthill, on the benefits of teaming with Verta.

The project is also significant for its contribution to the CRDF's work to redirect former Soviet defense researchers to civilian employ in support of U.S. nonproliferation efforts. "In funding U.S. and former Soviet collaborative

Contact: Chantal Guess
U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation

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