Tropical diseases tested

Upstream Biosciences, McGill University to collaborate on tropical disease treatment testing

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Upstream Biosciences Inc. announced in July that it entered a collaboration with McGill University's Institute of Parasitology in Montreal to begin in vitro testing of the company's second generation of drug candidates for the potential treatment of tropical diseases leishmaniasis, trypanaosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) and malaria.

Joel L. Bellenson, CEO of Upstream, says, "The testing will evaluate the company's second-generation drug candidates for anti-parasite activity and safety to human cells. McGill University is one of Canada's leading universities, and its Institute of Parasitology is recognized internationally for its research into infectious parasitic diseases."

Upstream's proprietary drug discovery platform utilizes chemoinformatics which combines chemistry and computer-aided design to accelerate the speed and reduce the cost of discovering drugs to treat disease.

Upstream's first generation of drug candidates have successfully demonstrated in vitro anti-parasitic activity, in vitro human cell safety, and in vivo (in animals) safety for leishmaniasis, trypanaosomiasis and malaria. Management anticipates that the company's first generation drug candidates will undergo in vivo (in animals) efficacy testing before the end of the third quarter of 2008.

"We have designed our second generation of drug candidates based on the best-performing characteristics of our first generation drug candidates, which have now advanced into animal testing," says Bellenson. "Our technology allows us to quickly and cheaply enhance our compounds to have fewer side-effects and to be more effective at lower dosages."

Testing at McGill's Institute of Parasitology, one of the few centers dedicated to investigating infrectious parasitic diseases, will be directed by Dr. Armando Jardim, who has published an extensive body of research covering the identification and characterization of parasite drug targets, including leishmaniasis.

"New treatments are desperately needed for these tropical diseases which have become resistant to available therapies. Our testing will evaluate the potential of Upstream's newest compounds," says Jardim. DDN

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