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Mar 17, 2008
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Profectus: Pushing the envelope

While a number of HIV therapeutics focused on gp120 have moved into human testing, none has proven successful because of the variability of the domain. Profectus BioSciences Inc., a University of Maryland spinout, believes it may succeed where others have failed by targeting highly conserved epitopes found on the gp120 HIV envelope protein that are exposed only after the virus has attached to the CD4 receptor on the host cell.

Other groups have targeted gp120, which facilitates entry of the virus into host cells. But according to Timothy Fouts, director of R&D, "these vaccines have attempted to present the HIV envelope as it appears on the virus," which mutates too rapidly to target with...

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