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Yale licenses AIDS drug

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2007 - Winter


Yale University concluded in June a license agreement granting Oncolys BioPharma of Tokyo exclusive rights to develop a new compound to treat HIV. Yale has also applied for a patent for the compound, Ed4T. Preclinical studies have already begun, and Oncolys BioPharma hopes to begin Phase I/II clinical trials in 2008.

Ed4T is a thymidine analogue that blocks reverse transcriptase, an essential enzyme for viral replication. The compound was discovered and developed jointly by researchers in Japan and Yung-Chi Cheng, Ph.D., the Henry Bronson Professor of Pharmacology at Yale.

Pharmacological studies have shown that Ed4T has more potent anti-HIV activity than existing nucleoside-analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and is active against viruses that are resistant to the existing NRTI and non-NRTI drugs. Further, Ed4T does not affect DNA synthesis in mitochondria, a toxic side effect of some nucleotide analogues. These findings suggested that Ed4T might offer unique therapeutic advantages over existing anti-HIV drugs

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