AZUSA, Calif., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Viral Genetics (OTC Bulletin Board: VRAL) has identified two key peptides involved in its thymus nuclear protein or "TNP" technology currently under development for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The active components of VGV-1, Viral Genetics' lead drug candidate based on TNP, were discovered by independent research laboratories and additional studies to confirm these findings are currently underway. The compounds identified include two classes of peptides (small protein fragments) that occur naturally in a variety of mammals, including humans. While both have been studied and reported in the scientific literature predominantly as markers, their therapeutic uses have not been actively pursued to date. In published studies, one of the peptides has been characterized as an immune modulator, possibly possessing natural antiviral and anti-infective properties. Researchers have also identified an association between levels of this peptide and certain viral infections and cancers. "From a scientific perspective, this may be a very important discovery for Viral Genetics and, if confirmed, could shed insight into our understanding of TNP and VGV-1. By having the active components isolated, we should be able to identify the mechanism of action and determine optimal dose. These are critical requirements in the process of improving the antiviral effects of the product and moving towards US clinical trials," said Dr. Eric Rosenberg, Chairman of the Company's scientific advisory board and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "While these results are preliminary and we are working rapidly to confirm them, this is a significant milestone for Viral Genetics and could greatly accelerate our development efforts in the United States and worldwide. Our hope is that the broad body of existing knowledge on the active compounds in the literature may also enhance our drug development pipeline," said Haig Keledjian, president and CEO of Viral Genetics, Inc. In recent studies, a reduction of HIV viral load was observed in a subset of patients after treatment with VGV-1 versus patients receiving placebo. As reported in the Company's poster presentation at the 2006 XVI International AIDS Conference, VGV-1 treated subjects also demonstrated apparent beneficial immunological changes when compared with placebo. The World Health Organization estimates approximately 40 million people are now living with HIV. Even with the available treatments for AIDS, there are large numbers of people that need alternative therapies and hope remains that progress will be made in discovering new therapies that bolster patients' immune systems. About VGV-1 VGV-1 is a therapy based on thymus nuclear protein which is extracted from bovine thymus tissue. As a type of immune-based therapy, it focuses on boosting the immune system to allow the body to fight HIV more efficiently. Thymus nuclear protein technology has been studied in five human clinical trials for the treatment of HIV infection and AIDS. About Viral Genetics Viral Genetics, Inc. is a biotechnology company that discovers and develops immune-based therapies for HIV and AIDS using its thymus nuclear protein compound. This compound may have other potential applications for other infectious, autoimmune, and immunological deficiency diseases that the company intends to study in the future. Viral Genetics believes that VGV-1 represents a significant and unique approach to treating HIV due to the apparently novel mechanism, low toxicity profile, simple dosing regimen, and short-course of treatment. Online at www.viralgenetics.com For additional information, please contact Viral Genetics at 626-334-5310. This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties associated with clinical development, regulatory approvals, and other risks described by Viral Genetics, Inc. from time to time in its periodic reports filed with the SEC. VGV-1 is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or by any comparable regulatory agencies elsewhere in the world. While Viral Genetics believes that the forward-looking statements and underlying assumptions contained therein are reasonable, any of the assumptions could be inaccurate, including, but not limited to, the ability of Viral Genetics to establish the efficacy of VGV-1 in the treatment of any disease or health condition and the development of studies and strategies leading to commercialization of VGV-1 in the United States. Therefore, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements included in this release will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking statements included herein, the forward- looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Viral Genetics or any other person that the objectives and plans of Viral Genetics will be achieved.
SOURCE Viral Genetics, Inc.