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ImQuest BioSciences Receives Phase I SBIR Grant to Develop a Novel Hepatitis C Virus Therapeutic Agent
Date:4/21/2009

FREDERICK, Md., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- ImQuest BioSciences and Arisyn Therapeutics jointly announced today the successful acquisition of funding from the National Institutes of Health to support the development of novel small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. ImQuest scientists will investigate the therapeutic potential and mechanism of action of ATI-0810 (Formerly PG301029) and a series of related chemical compounds. PG301029 is a highly novel transcriptional inhibitor of HCV replication, yielding a significant reduction of viral RNA synthesis in infected cells, and laboratory studies have demonstrated the compound to be less toxic and more active than the FDA approved agent ribavirin. Preliminary in vivo toxicology studies indicate that the compound is well tolerated and has a pharmacokinetic profile appropriate for drug development. The ImQuest research team will be led by Principal Investigator Todd B. Parsley, Ph.D., Director of Hepatitis Virus Research. The funded studies will permit ImQuest to define other potent transcriptional inhibitors of HCV, investigate the mechanism of action of the active molecules and provide additional rationale for the development of a combination anti-HCV therapy using the lead molecules.

"We believe that the addition of a novel agent such as PG301029 to the current standard of care for HCV infected individuals will greatly enhance the percentage of patients that are able to achieve a robust and durable antiviral response to therapy," said Dr. Robert W. Buckheit, Jr., Executive Vice President of ImQuest. "Our data provide adequate rationale for the expedited development of PG301029 for HCV infection, and provide a platform to identify novel cellular and viral targets for future antiviral therapeutic development efforts."

The research continues the collaborative scientific partnership between ImQuest and Arisyn Therapeutics for the development of Arisyn Therapeutic's portfolio of antiviral and anticancer products.

ImQuest BioSciences Inc. is a privately held U.S. company located in Frederick, Maryland, is a leading provider of anti-infective therapeutic and microbicide development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

Arisyn Therapeutics Inc. is a privately held virtual biotechnology company headquartered in Frederick Maryland with a mission of identifying novel first in class inhibitors for infectious diseases and cancer based on their transcription targeted therapeutic agent platform.

    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 BioSciences Inc.
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