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ImQuest Awarded SBIR Grant to Define the Mechanism of Action of Their Lead Anti-HIV Therapeutic Compound IQP-0410

FREDERICK, Md., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- ImQuest Life Sciences announced today the successful acquisition of funding from the National Institutes of Health to define the mechanism of action of their dual-acting pyrimidinedione HIV inhibitor IQP-0410. The objective of this one-year Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) award will allow ImQuest scientist to further understand how the pyrimidinediones inhibit the replication of HIV. IQP-0410 has been determined to primarily inhibit the function of the virion reverse transcriptase, but the clinical candidate also possesses a novel second mechanism of action which functions to prevent the entry of HIV into human target cells, extends the range of action of the compound to HIV-2 and results in enhanced levels of activity against multi-drug resistant virus strains. The SBIR award will allow ImQuest to better define the putative entry inhibition target, thus allowing the eventual development of an entirely new class of virus entry inhibitors. Dr. Robert W. Buckheit, Jr., Dr. Todd Parsley, and Ms. Tracy Hartman lead the research project.

"We are extremely pleased to receive this NIH SBIR award," said Dr. Buckheit. "IQP-0410 represents a completely novel dual-acting chemotype for development as an HIV therapeutic and ImQuest hopes to more completely understand how this compound inhibits HIV replication, initiate our planned clinical trials, and work on the development of a new generation of even more potent entry inhibitors that will provide HIV-infected individuals with yet another therapeutic option to fight their disease."

ImQuest plans to submit an IND to the Food and Drug Administration in the third quarter of 2008 in order to initiate Phase 1 human clinical trials with IQP-0410. Preclinical pharmacology and toxicology results have been highly encouraging that the compound will present a new highly potent and less toxic alternative for primary and salvage therapies in HIV-infected individuals. The pyrimidinedione series is being developed for use as both HIV therapeutics and topical microbicides.

ImQuest Life Sciences, a privately held U.S. company located in Frederick, Maryland specializes in early stage drug development of novel compounds for the treatment of infectious disease and cancer. ImQuest BioSciences, also located in Frederick, Maryland, is a leading provider of anti-infective therapeutic and microbicide development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

Robert W. Buckheit, Jr., Ph.D.

EVP, Chief Scientific Officer

SOURCE ImQuest Life Sciences, Inc.
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