News | July 22, 2010

AiCuris Presents Mechanism Of Action Investigations Of Its Novel Anti-HCMV Drug AIC246 At The International Herpesvirus Workshop

Wuppertal, Germany / b3c newswire / – AiCuris announced today publication of preclinical data on AIC246, at the International Herpesvirus Workshop in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from 24 – 29 July 2010. AIC246 is a novel anti-HCMV drug currently in clinical phase 2 testing.

AiCuris scientist Dr. Lischka will present detailed mechanism of action evaluations performed with AIC246 during session 15 on "Interventions, Treatment and Prevention" scheduled on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 from 14.30 to 15:45 hrs, Kingsbury Hall Auditorium on the University of Utah campus. The data show that AIC246 specifically targets the processing of the viral DNA and inhibits the formation and release of infectious virus particles.

"Our results clearly indicate that AIC246 is distinct from the marketed polymerase inhibitors against HCMV and has the potential to be of great benefit for patients in need of an anti-HCMV therapy" said Dr. Zimmermann, Chief Scientific Officer of AiCuris. "We have already seen that this unique mechanism of action translates into resistance breaking properties and good tolerability in the clinic. We are excited to develop this novel and highly specific drug as we see a high medical need for an improved therapy and prophylaxis of HCMV infections" comments AiCuris' CEO Prof. Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff.

About HCMV
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a beta herpes virus, represents an important pathogen for immune compromised individuals. It is the most common virus pathogen in solid organ transplant recipients (kidney, heart, liver, lung and pancreas) as well as bone marrow transplant recipients and is the major cause of morbidity and mortality during the first six months after transplantation.

Besides transplant recipients, newborn children are highly threatened by HCMV infections. The infection can be acquired before, during or after birth. Because of the side effects of presently available drugs against HCMV, it is very difficult to treat these children. Neither can pregnant women with an active HCMV infection be treated.

Patients with AIDS might suffer from an HCMV infection once HIV has caused a severe immune deficiency. In these patients, the virus might lead to blindness as well as to life threatening pneumonia or colitis. Thanks to HAART, severe AIDS cases have become rare in the Western world. But in countries where access to anti-viral medication is limited, these consequences are more common.

Apart from immune compromised patients, another group of individuals may also require treatment of HCMV: Recently, an American research group found that HCMV also poses a risk to patients under intensive care (e.g. after heart attack, suspected sepsis or burn). In this patient group, an active HCMV infection was associated with longer hospital detention and death.

CMV disease is characterised by fever, leucopenia (very low white blood cells) and thrombocytopenia (very low platelet numbers) with or without specific organ dysfunction. Two main strategies to prevent CMV disease have been adopted: prophylaxis of immunocompromized patients with antiviral agents, or pre-emptive treatment of those patients at risk, who develop evidence of CMV infection during regular screening.

About AiCuris -
AiCuris GmbH & Co KG is a privately held company located in Wuppertal, Germany. It is devoted to research and clinical development of novel, resistance-breaking drugs for the treatment of HCMV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, HIV and Hepatitis C as well as for resistant Gram positive and Gram negative bacterial infections in hospitals. Furthermore, the portfolio comprises two immune modulators.

SOURCE: b3c newswire