EDMONTON, Alberta, Nov. 6, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Isotechnika Pharma Inc. (TSX:ISA) ("Isotechnika" or the "Company") is pleased to announce positive results from the first round of screening of its portfolio of cyclophilin antagonist molecules ("NICAMs") through the contract testing laboratories of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease ("NIAID"), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health ("NIH").
Several NICAM compounds have been found to be highly active in primary in vitro assays against a number of important viruses including Hepatitis C virus, Human Papillomavirus, Human Cytomegalovirus and Varicella-Zoster virus (causative agent of shingles). Some of the compounds are currently undergoing secondary level in vitro testing, through NIAID's contract testing laboratories, towards selection of lead drug candidates for preclinical development.
"There is an urgent need for drugs to treat the numerous viral diseases for which limited or no therapeutic options are currently available," commented Isotechnika's President and CEO, Dr. Robert Foster. "These results suggest that our NICAMs may have the potential to answer that call, presenting Isotechnika with large new market opportunities. Indeed, the worldwide market for antiviral drugs is already estimated to be approximately $20 billion and that is expected to grow rapidly as new therapies become available."
About the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
NIAID conducts and supports research - at NIH, throughout the United States and worldwide - to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health
The NIH, American's medical research agency, includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary U.S. federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.
NICAMs are an emerging novel class of multifunctional drugs showing promise as antiviral, anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective agents. NICAMs inhibit cellular molecules called cyclophilins, and have garnered considerable attention as a novel treatment for a wide range of cyclophilin-mediated conditions. This includes treatment of infectious diseases through the ability of NICAMs to inhibit viral replication.
About Isotechnika Pharma Inc.
Isotechnika Pharma Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company advancing a late-stage immunosuppressive drug, voclosporin, which offers key safety advantages over currently available calcinuerin inhibitors; a market estimated to be US$3 billion worldwide. Its earlier stage pipeline focuses on inhibition of various cyclophilins and the company is currently working on lead optimization in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Isotechnika Pharma Inc. trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "ISA". More information on Isotechnika Pharma can be found at www.isotechnika.com or www.sedar.com.
CONTACT: For further information: Dr. Robert Foster President & CEO 780-487-1600 (x247) firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Launa Aspeslet Chief Operating Officer 780-487-1600 (x225) email@example.com Leonard Zehr Managing Director Kilmer Lucas Inc. 416-833-9317 firstname.lastname@example.orgSource:Isotechnika Pharma Inc.