EDMONTON, Alberta, Nov. 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ciclofilin Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Ciclofilin" or the "Company"), a developer of broad spectrum antiviral medications, announced today that the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) has agreed to provide it with financial contribution of up to $80,000 through the Canadian HIV Technology Development Program, in support of the pre-clinical development of its lead drug, CPI-431-32.
CPI-431-32 inhibits a cellular enzyme known as cyclophilin A ("CyPA"), which is responsible for activation of viral proteins critical for the replication of both hepatitis C and HIV-1 viruses. It is being developed by the Company for the treatment of hepatitis C virus ("HCV")/HIV-1 co-infection. In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 1.4 million patients infected with HIV. Approximately 25% of these patients are co-infected with HCV, which could be explained by the similar mode of transmission of these two viruses.
"In collaboration with Dr. Philippe Gallay of Scripps Research Institute at La Jolla, CA, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, we have demonstrated that CPI-431-32 is efficacious and represents a potential treatment for HCV infection and HIV-1 infection and, perhaps more importantly, for HCV patients co-infected with HIV-1," commented Robert Foster, PharmD, PhD, CEO of Ciclofilin. "Additionally, owing to the known anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic properties associated with this class of compounds, the downstream effects of viral infection may potentially be mitigated in this patient population."
Dr. Foster continued, "We are grateful for NRC-IRAP's industry expertise and financial support, and we believe that this valuable input will help us to develop our lead drug as the preferred therapeutic option for this difficult-to-treat patient population. This is an important indication, as liver disease is the main cause of morbidity and mortality for HIV patients."
About Ciclofilin Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Ciclofilin is a life sciences company based in San Diego, California, with R&D facilities in Edmonton, Canada. The company's drug pipeline is uniquely designed to specifically target the host by rendering host cells resistant to viral infection. Unlike most other antivirals used in practice or in development, Ciclofilin's antivirals do not target the virus. By targeting the host and not the virus, Ciclofilin's lead drug is less susceptible to emerging resistance and is truly pangenotypic. Ciclofilin is developing a broad spectrum antiviral for the treatment of patients co-infected with hepatitis C ("HCV"), hepatitis B ("HBV") and HIV-1 viruses. Approximately 25% of HIV patients are co-infected with HCV. Co-infected patients progress at a faster rate to end-stage liver disease than mono-infected patients, and co-infection more than triples the risk of liver disease, liver failure, and liver-related death from HCV. End-stage liver disease (liver inflammation and fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma) is the main cause of death and hospitalization for HIV patients, and cyclophilin inhibitors, as a class, are known to exhibit antifibrotic properties, which may further amplify the benefits of this approach to treating viral infections. Ciclofilin is also testing for additional antiviral indications, including human papilloma virus ("HPV"), coronaviruses and others.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, with respect to the potential of our lead drug CPI-431-32 for the treatment of human viral diseases. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the significance of our preclinical results and potential applications of our compound for the treatment of co-infected patients. Statements that are not historical facts are based on our management's current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about our business and the industry in which we operate and our management's beliefs and assumptions. The statements contained in this release are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed in such forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of this release, and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Ciclofilin undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, except as required by applicable law.
CONTACT: Investor Contacts Ciclofilin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Dr. Robert T. Foster, CEO, +1 (780) 909-5041; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Cosme Ordonez, President, +1 (619) 701-5374; Email: email@example.com Media Contact Steve Kilmer, +1 (647) 872-4849; Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgSource:Ciclofilin Pharmaceuticals Inc.