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12:00 AM
 | 
Jul 30, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Interference difference

Even though they are in line behind two other HIV compounds targeting chemokine receptor CCR5, Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Incyte Corp. each thinks its CCR5 inhibitor has advantages over the competition. Both companies presented data last week at the International AIDS Society meeting in Sydney.

Most HIV drugs are oral, but Progenics (PGNX, Tarrytown, N.Y.) believes PRO 140, a humanized antibody, could be developed as a first-in-class self-injectable for HIV patients.

CEO and CSO Paul Maddon, who worked on the research team that first identified CCR5's role in HIV infection in 1996, told BioCentury the larger size and different binding configuration of PRO 140 should confer certain advantages over small molecules in development to block viral entry (see "CCR5 Interference").

"Small molecules bind deep within the pocket of the receptor and allosterically affect the geometry of its surface," he said. According to Maddon, this conformational change of the receptor disrupts the agonism that naturally occurs via three major chemokines - RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted), macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (CCL3) and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 beta...

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