Viral Genetics, Inc. announced today that lead researcher Dr. M. Karen Newell Rogers and Advisor Mr. Richard Gerstner will receive the Lauren F. Brooks Hope Award, presented by Time for Lyme, Inc. The award presentation is set for the Illusions of Lyme Gala, April 2, 2011, in Stamford, CT. Dr. Newell Rogers is being recognized for her research on Targeted Peptide treatment for Lyme Disease at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Texas A&M University. Mr. Gerstner helped Dr. Newell Rogers to initiate research on a treatment for the disease and has supported her research with funding.
"We are very proud of Dr. Newell Rogers' work and appreciative of the support that Mr. Gerstner has provided," said Viral Genetics' CEO, Haig Keledjian. "This award is a confirmation that Dr. Newell Rogers' research into a treatment for Lyme Disease is showing results."
"I would like to personally thank Mr. Gerstner for his original gift," added Monica Ord, Viral Genetics' Senior Vice President for Corporate Development and Communications. "Since that day, and with the steadfast support of Tyme for Lyme, Dr. Newell Rogers has uncovered not only a promising treatment but new information about this disease that is invaluable. We have never had such a willingness of immediate support in any other disease as with the Lyme community. We applaud you."
Dr. Newell Rogers and Viral Genetics are now completing the development of a molecule for the treatment of Lyme disease. This molecule is comparable to the Company's APi1177 Targeted Peptide molecule being studied for HIV/AIDS, which appears to rely on a similar underlying mechanism to assist in the control of chronic inflammation believed to be responsible for certain symptoms of Lyme Disease. Preliminary animal studies of this compound showed positive results in decreasing levels of inflammation in Borrelia infection in animals. Viral Genetics' goal is to initiate review of this drug candidate by the United States Food and Drug Administration through a pre-IND filing in 2011. Dr. Newell Rogers' research has been funded, in part, by grants from Time for Lyme, Inc., Mr. Richard Gerstner, and funding from Turn the Corner Foundation.
M. Karen Newell Rogers, Ph.D., is currently the Raleigh R. White Jr. Endowed Professor of Surgical Research at Scott and White Hospital's Department of Surgery, affiliated with Texas A&M University Health Science Center's College of Medicine, located in Temple, Texas. She was previously at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where she began her research into Lyme Disease.
Richard T. Gerstner serves on the Advisory Board of Viral Genetics and is also on the Advisory Committee to Columbia University's Lyme and Tick Borne Diseases Research Center. He has served in executive management in numerous technology companies, including IBM and Telular Corporation.