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ImQuest Presentations at Keystone Symposium Focus on Advancements in Their Therapeutic and Microbicide Development Programs
Date:3/25/2009

FREDERICK, Md., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- ImQuest Life Sciences presented their latest biological results supporting the continued development of their small molecule pyrimidinedione inhibitors of HIV-1 at the Prevention of meeting being held in Keystone, Colorado. The presentations highlighted new data supporting the selection of lead second generation therapeutic agents with an increased barrier to the selection of drug resistant virus strains in treated patients, as well as preclinical studies supporting the development of the pyrimidinedione IQP-0528 as a topical microbicide candidate for human clinical trials. The pyrimidinediones are highly potent inhibitors of HIV, exhibiting a dual mechanism of action which includes targeting virus entry and reverse transcription, a highly positive safety profile, and enhanced sensitivity against multi-drug resistant viruses isolated from patients. ImQuest recently submitted an Investigational New Drug Application to the FDA to initiate Phase 1 human clinical trials with the pyrimidinedione IQP-0410.

Robert W. Buckheit, Jr., Ph.D. (Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer) presented the results of studies which demonstrate the ability of various analogs of IQP-0410 to more effectively suppress the replication of viruses which are resistant to the action of other NNRTIs used in the clinic. ImQuest, in collaboration with their drug development partner Samjin Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd of Seoul, Korea, have recently engaged in an effort to develop more active pyrimidinediones possessing this higher genetic barrier to resistance. Karen M. Watson, M.S. (Director, Topical Microbicide Research & Development) reported on results of preclinical efficacy evaluations of a series of pyrimidinediones, resulting in the selection of IQP-0528 as ImQuest's lead compound to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV worldwide. The studies included ImQuest co-authors Tracy Hartman, M.S., Lu Yang, M.D. and Christa E. Buckheit, as well as collaborators Patrick Kiser, Ph.D., Alamelu Mahalingham and Todd Johnson of The University of Utah.

"These results highlight the significant potential of the pyrimidinediones as highly potent therapeutic and preventative agents and provide additional rationale for their expedited development," said Dr. Buckheit. "We appreciate the continued support of these development programs by the National Institutes of Health (NIAID) and the International Partnership for Microbicides, as well as our close partnership with the chemistry team at Samjin."

ImQuest Life Sciences, a privately held U.S. company located in Frederick, Maryland specializes in the preclinical and clinical 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 and anti-cancer drug and vaccine development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

    For further information regarding this press release please contact:
    Robert W. Buckheit, Jr., Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer
    ImQuest Life Sciences, Inc.
    301-696-0274
    rbuckheit@imquest.com


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SOURCE ImQuest Life Sciences
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