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Obio Pharmaceutical Announced New Antiviral Drug Discovery to Combat Influenza Virus
Date:3/10/2009

HONG KONG, March 10 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Obio Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd ("Obio"/ "the Company") announced the discovery of a new indication of a drug, TG21, against main strains of influenza virus (including avian and human influenza strains) such as H3N2 and H5N1. The process leading to clinical trials for TG21 has already commenced.

"Obio has and will continue to engage prestigious institutions in USA and China to conduct various researches, all of which have endorsed that TG21 has antiviral effect towards a wide spectrum of influenza virus. Testing on chick embryo, chick, and mice are conducted. The finding indicated TG21 can increase the survival rate and decrease the amount of virus of animals challenged by Avian Influenza virus H5N1. TG21 possesses a complete safety profile as the active ingredient of the compound is already a drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EU European Medicines Agency (EMA) for chronic use to treat a rare disease, and there are no serious side effects recorded." Dr. Bill Piu Chan said.

After years of study to prove the efficacy of TG21 in tackling influenza virus, scientists are still investigating the basic mechanism of TG21. However, it is certain that TG21 works on a different mechanism to that of both Tamiflu(TM) and Relenza(TM). The two readily available drugs are Neuraminidase Inhibitors that prevent the virus from spreading to other cells. Both of them have similar antiviral mechanisms towards influenza virus.

Delivered in pills, Tamiflu(TM) and the inhaler drug-Relenza(TM) are the only drugs suggested by US FDA and World Health Organization for treating and preventing avian flu infection at present. However, cases of resistance to the mainstream medical intervention-Tamiflu (TM) are on the rise as shown in reports by U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention and the EU-Supported Network for Vigilance against Viral Resistance. Question in potential effectiveness of the widely-used and governments-markedly-stockpiled weapon may create immediate demand for a different antiviral solution to prepare for possible highly pandemic threat.

According to official statistics of World Health Organization, a total of 404 laboratory-confirmed human cases of Avian Influenza A/ (H5N1) with a mortality rate of 62.8% have been reported up to 2 February 2009. In case of pandemic outbreak, swift production process of TG21 can expedite output to meet the global needs as it is a synthetic chemical compound, which can be synthesized without the issue of shortage of raw materials. Technically, TG21 can be produced in mass volume within a relatively short period of time. The orally administered drug TG21 also offers critical advantage in intake convenience.

Apart from the bird flu threat, TG21 will also render as an alternative solution to the seasonal flu that bother countries around the world by saving lives and reducing hospitalization rate.

A US Patent Attorney is engaged to conduct a patentability report for TG21. Application of patents has been filed on TG21's anti-viral effect and pending approval. As a company focused on research for proprietary patented drugs, Obio is preparing the application for a fast track status to accelerate drug registration given the needs of effective treatment for lethal influenza viruses are unmet, and actively negotiating collaboration with large pharmaceuticals companies to produce the drug.

About Obio Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited

Obio is a Hong Kong-based international pharmaceutical company. Obio targets to research, develop and commercialize novel medicines for the underserved diseases affecting millions of patients worldwide. Obio is a knowledge-based, technology driven pharmaceutical company, dedicated to the research and development of novel drugs, and bringing them into the market through co-development with other prestigious pharmaceutical companies. Obio's research center is located at Beijing and researches are often contracted to outside prestigious medical institutes for confirmation of experiment data. Details please refer to http://www.obiopharma.com .

    For more information, please contact

     JOVIAN Financial Communications Ltd
     Angel Y Y Yeung / Alice Choi
     Tel:   +852-2154-7898
     Fax:   +852-2854-2012
     Email: alice.choi@joviancomm.com / angel.yeung@joviancomm.com

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SOURCE Obio Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited
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