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DFH Pharma to Collaborate With National Cancer Institute to Develop Second-Generation HIV Maturation Inhibitor Drugs
Date:1/10/2012

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- DFH Pharma, Inc., (DFH) a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company focused exclusively in the HIV-1 therapeutic space, announced today a collaborative agreement between DFH and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to further the development of the next generation of HIV maturation inhibitor drugs. Maturation inhibitors are a novel class of antiretroviral drug candidates that inhibit HIV-1 replication by interfering with the maturation of the HIV-1 virus.

The collaboration will involve extending successful efforts by DFH Pharma to identify drug candidates with potent activity against all HIV strains, including those that proved resistant to the first-in-class maturation inhibitor, bevirimat. DFH scientists have identified a series of 2nd generation maturation inhibitors with the broad anti-viral activity profile necessary for successful HIV drug development. The NCI investigators will evaluate the activity of these compounds against HIV strains associated with reduced bevirimat activity. The most potent of these compounds will be selected for further pre-clinical testing with a goal of initiating human clinical trials with one or more candidate molecules in the near future.

Dr. Eric Freed, an internationally recognized leader in the field of HIV assembly and release, will head the NCI group. Dr. Freed has worked in the maturation inhibition area since the early 2000's when his group collaborated with Panacos Pharmaceuticals in the discovery and characterization of the maturation inhibitor class of HIV drugs. "We are very excited to be working with Dr. Freed and his NCI colleagues in developing this new class of drugs to treat HIV infection"' said Carl Wild, Ph.D., President and CEO. Dr. Wild continued, "The NCI collaboration will allow DFH to build on its recent success in identifying broadly active maturation inhibitor drug can
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SOURCE DFH Pharma, Inc.
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