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NIH AWARDS SBIR GRANT TO PROGENICS PHARMACEUTICALS TO STUDY HIV LIFE CYCLE

 TARRYTOWN, N.Y., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced it has been awarded $50,000 under Phase I of a Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Under the terms of the grant, Progenics will expand its therapeutic discovery program by developing a new model system to study the entry into target cells of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS.
 HIV targets and destroys CD4+ T lymphocytes, the key regulatory cells of the immune system gradually leaving the body defenseless against foreign invaders. HIV entry is an essential component of the viral life cycle and is mediated by two critical events -- attachment and fusion -- that lead to the entry of the viral genetic information into the target cell. In addition to viral particles, HIV-infected cells can attach to and fuse with uninfected CD4+ cells, forming multinucleated giant cells known as syncytia. The appearance of syncytia is strongly associated with the development of AIDS-related complex (ARC) and AIDS.
 "Progenics is developing a new model system to study HIV entry that will be extremely valuable in analyzing its role in the biology of HIV infection and the pathogenesis of HIV disease," said Stephen P. Goff, Ph.D., of Columbia University, the chairman of Progenics' Scientific Advisory Board.
 Progenics' program to study HIV entry is complementary to the company's other projects. "This grant, our third from the SBIR program, will allow Progenics to expand its HIV research program and will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the viral life cycle. Our goal is to accelerate the company's effort to design new therapeutic strategies to block HIV infection," said Paul J. Maddon, M.D., Ph.D., Progenics' chairman and CEO.
 Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Tarrytown, is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics to treat human viral diseases, particularly HIV infection.
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 /CONTACT: Joel D. Sendek, manager, corporate development and investor relations of Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 914-789-2800; or Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D., of Noonan/Russo Communications, Inc., 212-979-9180, for Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc./


CO: Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ST: New York IN: MTC SU:

LR-KW -- NY005 -- 0327 03/29/93 08:30 EST
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Date:Mar 29, 1993
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