Saturday, December 8, 2012

Isotechnika Pharma's NICAM Compounds Demonstrate Positive Anti-Hepatitis C Virus Activity in Secondary Level Testing

EDMONTON, Alberta, Dec. 6, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Isotechnika Pharma Inc. (TSX:ISA) ("Isotechnika" or the "Company") is pleased to announce positive anti-hepatitis C virus ("HCV") results from the second round of in vitro testing of its cyclophilin antagonist molecules ("NICAMs"). Contractors funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ("NIAID"), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health ("NIH"), carried out the testing.

Several NICAM compounds were tested for cross genotype activity using quantitative polymerase chain reaction in HCV replicons, as well as combinatorial effects with alpha interferon using a luciferase reporter assay. Results demonstrate that the NICAMs are highly active (low nanomolar potency) against HCV genotypes, 1 and 2, which represent approximately 85% of the HCV infections globally. Direct-acting HCV anti-viral drugs currently on the market are approved only for genotype 1 infections. Testing also revealed that the NICAM compounds acted synergistically with alpha interferon, the current standard of care treatment, in reducing viral activity. The presence of synergistic activity means that significantly lower drug doses may be possible, thereby limiting the adverse events associated with interferon treatment. These findings support the view that NICAMs will broaden the therapeutic treatment window by complementing other classes of HCV drugs in development.

"The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 150 million people are chronically infected with HCV, and more than 350,000 people die every year from HCV-related liver diseases," commented Isotechnika's President and CEO, Dr. Robert Foster. "Despite improvements in treatment, significant unmet medical need still exists. The current standard of care does not work for everyone and can produce problematic side effects, which at times may lead to the discontinuation of treatment. We are excited that these positive testing results will allow us to begin preclinical development of those NICAMs with the best potential to expand orally administered HCV treatment options for a broader population of patients."

About the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
NIAID conducts and supports research - at NIH, throughout the United States and worldwide - to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health
The NIH, American's medical research agency, includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary U.S. federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

About NICAMs
NICAMs are an emerging novel class of multifunctional drugs showing promise as antiviral, anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective agents. NICAMs inhibit cellular molecules called cyclophilins, and have garnered considerable attention as a novel treatment for a wide range of cyclophilin-mediated conditions. This includes treatment of infectious diseases through the ability of NICAMs to inhibit viral replication.

About Isotechnika Pharma Inc.

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