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Lauren Sciences LLC's research team at Ben-Gurion University awarded Campbell Foundation grant to develop a V-Smart therapeutic for neuro-HIV

New York, N.Y., July 10, 2012 -- Lauren Sciences LLC, a privately-held biotechnology company furthering development of its new V-Smart nanovesicle platform technology, announced today the award of a grant from The Campbell Foundation to its research team at Ben-Gurion University. The grant from Campbell will support development of the novel V-Smart nanovesicles for systemic delivery of tenofovir across the blood brain barrier (BBB) to the brain for treatment of neuro-HIV. Tenofovir is one of the most frequently used antiretroviral drugs in the multi-drug treatment of HIV infection. However, since tenofovir does not cross the BBB following systemic administration, the treatment is not effective against viral reservoirs in the central nervous system (CNS). The persistence of HIV in the CNS (called, neuro-HIV) is a major contributor to HIV-associated cognitive impairment and is perceived to be a major cause of the inability to completely control systemic HIV despite long-term highly active anti-retroviral treatment (HAART).

"On behalf of our research team at Ben-Gurion University, we thank The Campbell Foundation for this award," said Susan Rosenbaum, Esq., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lauren Sciences. "The Campbell Foundation's award provides an opportunity to develop our innovative V-Smart drug delivery system for neuro-HIV and it recognizes the strong potential of our delivery system to overcome the challenge of developing drugs that cross the blood brain barrier."

"One of our Foundation's major goals is to find a disease-modifying therapy for HIV/AIDS," said Ken Rapkin, Program Officer of The Campbell Foundation. "The challenges associated with the delivery of HIV drugs through the blood brain barrier represent a critical unmet need in the field of AIDS research."

"Optimized V-Smart vesicles formulated with tenofovir has promise as an effective new treatment for patients," said Irwin Hollander, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Development, Lauren Sciences. "We hope it will be able to stop proliferation of, or even help eradicate, the neuro-HIV that is presumed to cause cognitive impairment and systemic HIV reinfection in patients under long-term treatment. It is anticipated that our successful delivery of tenofovir to the brain will lead to future efficacy studies in neuro-HIV pre-clinical models and, thereafter, clinical studies in patients with HIV."

"Our pre-clinical studies so far demonstrate that our novel V-Smart nano-sized vesicles encapsulate small molecules, peptides, proteins and nucleic acids, transport them across the BBB and release their encapsulated contents in the brain," said Eliahu Heldman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Ben-Gurion University and Chief Scientific Officer of Lauren Sciences LLC. "Our goal is to target the areas in the brain that are affected by HIV and reduce the viral load in those brain regions. The success of this project should provide more effective treatment for AIDS patients and improve their lives."


Contact: Susan Rosenbaum
Lauren Sciences LLC

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