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 MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Virotech, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of IDC Holdings, Ltd., announced today that one of its five anti-HIV drug compounds, presently under development and testing, recently achieved significant viral reduction, at low concentrations, with negligible toxicity to healthy cells, in independent testing.
 Virotech scientists have developed and tested a drug that employs two natural compounds which are enjoined under a proprietary, patent- pending biochemical synthesis to produce a single drug molecule. It was designed to inhibit replication of the HIV virus by a process that eliminates the energy source of the virus. Accordingly, the virus destroys itself in the process. Theoretically, and in the absence of mutation, partial inhibition of the virus will eventually approach, but may never totally achieve, complete viral inhibition.
 Virotech scientists originally theorized that this compound would principally inhibit viral activity within macrophages (one form of the body's own defense cells), however, after testing against HIV, it was found the not only did this new drug inhibit viral activity with macrophages, but similarly, it inhibited the viral activity within lymphocytes (OM-10.1 cell line).
 Richard D. Rotondo, vice president of research for Virotech, stated, "The company is not aware of another drug that demonstrates comparable anti-viral activity in both macrophages and lymphocytes, at the same time."
 Consequently, based on these preliminary studies, the drug works across the body's primary immunological defense systems. Rotondo further stated, "We have a number of preliminary theories regarding the working mechanisms based on these latest test results. One theory is that this compound inhibits viral activity by altering the structural replication process of the HIV virus. It may be that, in the process of viral replication, this drug binds to one or more HIV viral-specific enzymes throughout the life-cycle of the virus. Accordingly, the enzymes necessary for replication are rendered inactive. Several other theoretical modes of action could also be possible, including prophylactic effects with binding on the cell surface that inhibits the binding and inclusion of the viral particle."
 Tom de Petra, Virotech's CEO, stated, "Virotech will continue to expand upon this initial base of pharmaceutical technology with further testing, with the hope that this anti-viral activity can be duplicated within the human model."
 IDC Holdings, Ltd., is a Minneapolis-based holding company with subsidiaries engaged in the gaming industry, biotechnology, the food industry, and advertising specialties.
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 /CONTACT: John St. Cyr, M.D., Ph.D., president, 612-338-1557; Tom de Petra, CEO, or Richard D. Rotondo, director of research, 612-541-1100; all of IDC Holdings/

CO: IDC Holdings, Ltd.; Virotech, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: MTC SU:

DB-DS -- MN014 -- 7325 10/27/93 13:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 27, 1993

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