First Health Pharmaceuticals has been investigating potential Wakeup strategies to be applied in a HIV Shock & Kill approach since early 2016 when we started studying the potential use of Interleukins and Toll-like Receptor (TLR) activators, which is a class of compounds that we were already intimately familiar with through our cancer research into TLR7/8.
Considering that our focus has traditionally been on the inhibition of HIV translation from proviral DNA by means of RNA Helicase host factor inhibition, we were first and foremost interested in the pro-apoptotic properties of this approach as potentially eradicating compounds in a latency reversing strategy (the “kill” part of a “shock & kill” approach).
During the AIDS2018 congress in Amsterdam last summer, an increased focus by the scientific community on latency reversal and HIV eradication in dormant cells made us decide to speed up the development of our proprietary new class of TLR activators, to be applied in conjunction with our “HIV apoptosis inducing” translation inhibitors.
The reason to dedicate ourselves to the development of a completely new class of proprietary TLR activators has to do with the fact that most currently available TLR activators that have demonstrated effectiveness in a HIV latency reversing context are patented compounds. As such, it was decided that for our company to fully benefit from its HIV eradicating platform, it would be necessary to develop a complete in-house HIV Shock and Kill solution.
First Health Pharmaceuticals is a worldwide leader in drug discovery driven by computational chemistry, which allows us to greatly speed up the development of our novel class of TLR activators and today we are proud to announce that the first benchmark compounds of our TLR activator pipeline are ready for testing.