FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
International Therapeutics, Inc. Announces Collaboration with City of Hope to Develop New HIV Therapies
SEATTLEOctober 16, 2002 International Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a Collaborative Research Agreement with City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute (Duarte, CA), to evaluate and characterize novel small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules against HIV. siRNA are short anti-sense (mirror image) oligonucleotides that exert their effect by causing messenger RNA degradation, and in turn, inhibit protein production.
"siRNA technology is an exciting new area of research that has its basis in natural processes of gene expression regulation that exist in all cells. Given that infectious organisms such as viruses have unique genomes, the potential for applying the siRNA technology to development of specific new anti-infectives is very promising," commented Dr. Omar Haffar, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of R&D at ITI.
International Therapeutics and City of Hope will co-own the intellectual property resulting from the collaboration. ITI has the option to license the joint technology.
International Therapeutics is also pleased to announce the addition of John J. Rossi, Ph.D., to the Company's Science Advisory Board (SAB). Dr. Rossi is Chair of the Molecular Biology Department and Dean of the Graduate School of Biology at City of Hope. Dr. Rossi has extensive experience in the field of ribozymes and RNA intervention. More recently, Dr. Rossi's group was the first to describe the effectiveness of siRNA as a therapeutic approach to HIV infection in vitro.
"Dr. Rossi brings to ITI a wealth of experience in the area of anti-sense technology and therapeutics. Having Dr. Rossi on our SAB is very important for the Company to be involved in this area of research," said Dr. Haffar.
International Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately held Seattle biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel anti-viral therapies. The present focus of the Company is dedicated to finding new, safe and effective ways to combat HIV, a virus infecting over 40 million people worldwide. For more information, visit www.internationaltherapeutics.com.
City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute are world leading research and treatment centers for cancer and other life-threatening diseases, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. A pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics, City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, visit www.cityofhope.org. City of Hope. . .where the power of knowledge saves lives.