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Viron granted U.S. Patents for Organ Transplant and Arthritis Drug Candidates
Date:12/22/2009

's approach to drug discovery."

Viron's second therapeutic candidate, VT-346, is a powerful inhibitor of TNF-a, the therapeutic target of Enbrel(TM), Humira(TM), Cimzia(TM) and Remicade(TM), which together share a market estimated at over $20 billion annually. In head to head testing, VT-346 has proven itself to be as much as 100 times more potent than some currently marketed therapeutics, due in part to a novel mechanism of action evolved by the original virus.

The latest patent for VT-346, US 7,585,507, entitled "Nucleic acid molecules and polypeptides for immune modulation", relates to the use of VT-346 in treating immuno-modulatory disorders characterized by inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, transplant rejection, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. The protection provided by this patent also extends out to at least 2021.

Viron recently received a Notice of Allowance from the US patent office for a patent on VT-384, a protein derived from the Yatapoxvirus that targets IL-18, a cytokine expressed at sites of chronic inflammation. This cytokine has been implicated in numerous autoimmune diseases and a variety of cancers.

"IL-18 is a target of keen interest to big Pharma, with several monoclonal antibody candidates targeting IL-18 in various stages of development. Viron's discovery platform identified this natural protein that targets IL-18, which falls outside the complicated anti-IL-18 antibody patent landscape. This has hindered development of some anti-IL-18 antibody approaches. As such, we believe the commercial prospects for VT-384 in diseases such as arthritis and COPD could be very significant," said James Rae, Chief Executive Officer of Viron Therapeutics. "These issued patents also highlight our ability to discover and develop unique therapeutics which reside within pathogens and which have had millions of years to perfect strategies to modulate the immune system."

About Viron Therapeutic
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SOURCE Viron Therapeutics Inc.
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