Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Redda secures patent for anti-HIV compounds

FAMU Interim Vice President of Research Kinfe Ken Redda has reached a milestone in his research by receiving a patent for the development of therapeutic agents in the treatment of HIV infection.

“A lot of work, money and analysis were invested into this major discovery,” said Redda.  “We believe in our work. Our goal is certainly to make sure that this discovery will lead to the development of a more effective drug for the treatment of the HIV virus at an affordable price.”

Redda and his research team were awarded United States Patent #8,314,143 titled “Synthetic Flavonoids and Pharmaceutical Compositions and Therapeutic Methods of Treatment of HIV Infection and Other Pathologies.”

“We have a long way to go before the right remedy for treating HIV infection is realized,” said Redda.  “I am excited that we have taken the first step. This is a research activity that has attracted me for the past quarter of a century.  I know we need to do more in trying to make drug molecules to be safer and effective.  I’m delighted to work with such a dedicated research group to reach this stage.”

Redda, who is the principal investigator and co-inventor, secured the patent with his research team. The patent relates to novel therapeutic agents suitable for the treatment of humans afflicted HIV infections.

This patent includes a group of compounds called flavonoids.  Flavonoids are present in vascular plants and are known for their wide range of biological activities. According to Redda, the compounds his team has developed are synthetic flavonoid derivatives designed to target a specific enzyme, HIV integrase.

“HIV infection and AIDS are serious health hazards affecting our society,” said Redda.  “We are proud to be part of the global efforts for a search of a more effective treatment of the disease. Our compounds showed superior inhibitory activities, compared to zidovudine (AZT), a popular drug used for HIV treatment. There is great potential for this substance to become an effective HIV and AIDS treatment.”

Redda’s research team consists of Nelly Mateeva, an associate professor in FAMU’s Department of Chemistry, and Chavonda Janeebra Mills, an associate professor at Georgia College and State University.  Mills was a doctorate student in the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences during the initial process of their research.

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