ST Pharm said that it has presented the preclinical trial results of STP0404, an acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) treatment, during the 2020 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, held in Boston from Sunday to Wednesday.
The conference was conducted in online in real-time due to the spread of COVID-19. Because of the new format, the company presented its preclinical results to participants by publishing its findings through an online poster study.
STP0404 is a first-in-class new drug that does not participate in the active site of HIV-1 integrase and inhibits the non-catalytically active site. The company expects that the drug will overcome the drug resistance limitations of existing therapeutic agents that inhibit the catalytically active site.
In the preclinical study, STP0404 showed an excellent inhibitory effect on various HIV-infected cell lines, including peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), MT-4, CEMx174, showing a remarkable inhibitory effect on five cell lines resistant to Raltegravir, according to the company.
In addition to the possibility of oral administration once a day through metabolic stability and pharmacokinetics experiments, ST Pharm also confirmed the safety of the treatment as it did not observe any toxicity in the four-week repeated-dose toxicity test in rodents and non-rodents, as well as histopathology in various organs.
Notably, the company confirmed that STP0404 reacts with HIV-1 integrase to draw the genetic material of HIV out of the capsid surrounding the viral gene, thereby blocking the proliferation of the virus. As the human immune system suppresses HIV, the company expects that STP0404 will become the first treatment that can fully cure AIDS.
Given its high possibility, the National Institutes of Health selected the drug as part of its research support project in May 2018, and ST Pharm is conducting joint research with Emory University and Colorado State University.
“When a patient stops taking HIV treatment, the latent HIV is reactivated and resistance develops, making conventional treatment no longer effective,” a company official said. “In the preclinical study, we found that STP0404 blocks the proliferation of HIV under various virus reactivation conditions.”
Therefore, the company expects that HIV cannot become reactivated even if the drug is discontinued and completely cure HIV symptoms, he added.
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