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Apr 19, 2007

NIH Awards HIV Grant to New Consortium

  • The NIH selected Millenia Hope, the University of Pittsburgh, and Rutgers University to be a part of a project related to HIV therapeutics. The consortium will receive more than $4.6 million over the next five years.

    The project, "HIV RNase H natural product inhibitors", seeks to develop novel HIV treatments directed at the RNase H that will be effective against viral strains that are resistant to current drugs.

    The RNase H viral target is essential for HIV-1 replication, but there are no drugs against it in current clinical development, according to Millenia Hope. The company’s Phytomics technology will be used for the production and isolation of plant cell culture-derived natural products to inhibit HIV RNase H.

    "This project has an excellent probability of discovering new HIV therapeutics,” states Michael A. Parniak of Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and principal investigator of this program. “The research team we have assembled is worldclass, and Millenia Hope's Phytomics technology provides not only a unique but a readily renewable resource for the discovery and production of novel HIV drugs."



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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