Aphios Executes Cooperative Agreement with NIH & USAMRID for Discovery of Novel SARS Therapeutics
September 09, 2003
Woburn, MA — Aphios Corporation has executed a Cooperative Agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRID) to test its library of molecules from unique marine microorganisms for the prevention or treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and other coronavirus infections.

Human coronaviruses are responsible for the common "cold," accounting for approximately 30% of mild upper respiratory tract illnesses, for which there is no cure. In March 2003, a new, emerging coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was discovered in association with SARS. Unlike the common cold, SARS may result in severe respiratory problems and death. As of May 2003, more than 8,100 people have been infected with SARS and the worldwide death toll has been 724 since the disease emerged in November 2002. While the epidemic has been contained, there exists the possibility for its reemergence and increased virulence. Additionally, there is still no cure for the common "cold" that adversely impacts our quality-of-life.

Aphios plans to discover and develop novel anti-SARS and anti-coronavirus drugs through the screening of its library of marine molecules with NIAID and USAMRID.

Aphios has established a library of unique marine microorganisms from diverse environments, including deep-sea sediments to shallow water mangrove swamps, tropical waters to temperate oceans, hydrothermal vents as well as normal saline conditions to hypersaline ponds. The microbes are fermented in different media designed to maximize the diversity of secondary metabolites being generated. The biodiversity of our marine microorganism library is further enhanced by selectively extracting secondary metabolites with patented supercritical fluid microbial cell disruption and fractionation technologies.

Testing of Aphios' library of partially purified marine molecules will be coordinated through Southern Research Institute (SRI) in Birmingham, Alabama under a contract from NIAID and USAMRID.

Aphios Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on natural solutions for human health and quality-of-life medicines.