PATENT GRANTED FOR PREPARATION OF PROMISING HIV
Chicago-area company advances Calanolide A, compound derived from
Woodridge, Ill (September 24, 2002) - The U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office issued a broad patent to Sarawak MediChem Pharmaceuticals
of Woodridge, Ill., bolstering the company's proprietary position
in the use of calanolides as potential anti-viral drugs, the company
announced today. Sarawak MediChem Pharmaceuticals is a 50/50 joint
venture between the State Government of Sarawak in Malaysia and
Advanced Life Sciences, also of Woodridge.
"This broad patent coverage expands our intellectual property
portfolio in calanolides as potential anti-viral drugs,"
said Michael Flavin, PhD, CEO of Advanced Life Sciences, which
is conducting the research. "Issuance of this calanolide
patent further validates our expertise in discovering and developing
anti-viral agents to fight life threatening infectious diseases
such as HIV."
Patent No. 6420571 (Method for preparing antiviral calanolide
compounds) applies to calanolides, a class of compounds derived
from plants in the rainforests of Sarawak in Malaysia. The lead
compound, Calanolide A, is a potent non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase
inhibitor (NNRTI) anti-HIV agent, and has demonstrated pre-clinical
and clinical activity against HIV. The compound may offer a favorable
resistance profile to combat mutations commonly associated with
the use of current HIV therapies.
In addition, Calanolide A has demonstrated in vitro activity against
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), distinguishing it as the only
anti-HIV agent with dual activity against HIV and TB, the world's
number one killer among infectious diseases and the most common
infection in HIV patients.
Calanolide A is currently being tested in healthy human volunteers
in combination with a marketed HIV protease inhibitor to demonstrate
its safety in combination therapy. A recent issue of Antiviral
Agents Bulletin highlighted the R&D efforts on the calanolides
underway at Sarawak MediChem Pharmaceuticals.
Sarawak MediChem is a for-profit Public-Private Partnership (PPP),
focused on natural product drug development by advancing drug
candidates from the forest to the patient. (www.sarawak-medichem.com)
Advanced Life Sciences is a privately held biopharmaceutical company
engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of
novel drugs in the therapeutic areas of infection, cancer, and
inflammation using its platform in natural products and chemical
proteomics coupled with expertise in drug development. (www.advancedlifesciences.com).