Kemin Pharma Identifies New Molecule Effective Against Human Cytomegalovirus

HERENTALS, Belgium -- Kemin Pharma announces the identification of novel, carbohydrate-based molecules with highly effective and selective activity against human cytomegalovirus (CMV).

"In our initial in vitro screening, a new molecule, identified as KPE1015, was nearly as effective as the positive control, ganciclovir, the only antiviral treatment currently available against CMV. We were able to chemically modify and optimize this lead molecule, creating molecule KPE1116, which delivered improved in vitro activity, superior to ganciclovir, against both the Davis and AD-169 strains of CMV," says Dr. Benedikt Sas, general manager of Kemin Pharma.

These molecules are part of a new class of molecules being screened by Kemin Pharma that exhibit very promising activity, selectivity and toxicity profiles. Sas says, "Our research is focused on complete, novel molecules with three dimensional structures, several chiral centers and new modes of action. There are few pharmaceutical compounds with chiral centers, because most are flat molecules."

An effective treatment for CMV infections is especially significant for immunodeficient patients, including AIDS patients, patients receiving chemotherapy, organ transplant recipients and pregnant women. CMV infection can cause a number of symptoms including retinitis, viral pneumonia, colitis, hepatitis, encephalitis and mononucleosis.

"We are excited about this promising new molecule. The current available treatment for CMV has a number of undesirable side effects including reduction in white blood cells, kidney damage, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and rash. Plus, studies and surveillance data are showing an ever-increasing level of CMV resistance to the treatment," Sas added.

Kemin Pharma was established in January 2001 as a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Kemin Industries, Inc. Its mission is to develop new, unique, antimicrobial compounds effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi, as well as protozoa, which present a serious, unmet medical challenge throughout the world. Kemin Pharma's screening efforts are focused on compounds that are likely to have a higher success rate, a strategy that has been very successful for the company. In the first two years of its existence, Kemin Pharma researchers have isolated and are currently conducting preclinical trials on six compounds and are conducting Phase II clinical trials on another compound.

Source: Kemin Pharma