iCo Therapeutics Inc. ("iCo" or "the Company") (TSX-V: ICO) (OTCQX: ICOTF), today reported results of its Oral Amphotericin B (Oral Amp B) drug candidate targeting latent HIV reservoirs. The study, conducted by ImmuneCarta®, the immune monitoring business unit of Caprion, evaluated in vitro effectiveness of Oral Amp B in reactivating latent HIV viral reservoirs which remain present in individuals despite intensive treatment with antiretroviral therapy.
Memory cells, or white blood cells, from eight HIV-infected subjects with a durable viral suppression using antiretroviral therapy (HAART) were obtained and exposed in vitro to various concentrations of Oral Amp B. Samples from one patient were determined not to be susceptible to reactivation. In the remaining subjects, Oral Amp B demonstrated a reactivation response of HIV viral production in six out of seven in vitro cultures with detectable HIV reservoir. Some HIV reservoirs are not possible to reactivate and this may explain why one culture did not show reactivation response.
"There are a number of HIV latent reservoirs that are not inducible and our partners at ImmuneCarta were pleasantly surprised that six of the seven samples had inducible latent reservoirs in our study," said Dr. Peter Hnik, Chief Medical Officer of iCo Therapeutics. "By turning on expression of latent HIV proviruses, reactivation strategies such as Oral Amp B, could contribute to a reduction of HIV infection. Given these promising results, we are now evaluating the next steps in the developmental path for Oral Amp B."