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Rx for Africa, Inc. and Zirus, Inc. Create Joint Venture, ZiRx Therapeutics, Ltd.
Date:8/10/2009

NEW YORK, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rx for Africa, Inc. and Zirus, Inc., have entered into a letter of intent to form ZiRx Therapeutics, Ltd., a joint venture that will utilize the anti-viral discovery platform of Zirus, Inc. to target host cell proteins with drugs that potentially block or stop the spread of infectious diseases in completely new ways. Targeting host proteins may lead to broad spectrum antiviral drugs as well as drugs that are less susceptible to viral resistance. The joint venture will include as many as 25 specifically identified drugs with positive preliminary antiviral data that have been approved in a major territory or are in a Phase III trial in a major territory for a different indication. The strategy is for these target drugs to be 'repurposed' against infectious disease (such as the H1N1 swine flu virus) and brought on the market quickly in Ethiopia through Rx for Africa's Ethiopian manufacturing and distribution capabilities. These drugs can then be produced inexpensively to sell throughout Africa and other available global markets.

David Perryman, President and CEO of Zirus, Inc. said, "Repurposed clinically approved drugs represent an opportunity to skip early and risky stages of drug development and create substantial nearer-term value with time frames that are appropriate to help in Africa, where every day matters. Teaming with Rx for Africa represents a real opportunity to accelerate the drug development process, build infrastructure in Africa, and create a lower-cost platform for these potential life-saving drugs."

Mulugetta Bezzabeh, PhD, CEO of Rx for Africa, Inc. commented, "Rx for Africa is deeply glad to have this opportunity to work on cutting edge science developing cures for infectious viral diseases such as HIV and pandemic flu that have ravaged African populations. Ethiopia has significant potential as a market for such products."<
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SOURCE Rx for Africa, Inc.
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