UPBS | Upstream Biosciences, Inc. Begins Testing

OTCBB Penny Stock News

Company Reaches Milestone in Program to Develop New Treatments for Drug Resistant Tropical Diseases

Jul 28, 2008 8:00:00 AM
VANCOUVER, BC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 07/28/08 -- Upstream Biosciences Inc. (OTCBB: UPBS) announced today that it is collaborating with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda to evaluate the efficacy in animals of more than 20 proprietary drug candidates as potential treatments for Leishmaniasis in humans. Drug resistance has greatly reduced the effectiveness of existing Leishmaniasis treatments.

Joel L. Bellenson, Chief Executive Officer of Upstream, said the animal testing may determine whether one or more of the drug candidates have sufficient anti-parasitic activity to proceed down a path to commercialization.

"Initiation of efficacy testing in animals is the latest in a series of milestones we have achieved in the past 12 months to develop treatments for several tropical diseases," said Bellenson.

Bellenson said Upstream has demonstrated in vitro efficacy and in vivo (in animals) safety for potential treatments for Leishmaniasis, Trypanaosomiasis, and Malaria.

Leishmaniasis, Trypanaosomiasis (African sleeping sickness), and Malaria are caused by related parasites that have developed resistance to available treatments. Leishmaniasis afflicts millions of people living in Africa, India, and the Middle East. An estimated 60 million people and 50 million cattle and other animals in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of contracting African Sleeping Sickness. According to the World Heath Organization, about 40% of the world's population is at risk of Malaria. These diseases will be included in the United States Food and Drug Administration's proposed priority review voucher program designed to provide financial incentive to companies developing treatments.

"If we are successful, we believe there will be a strong market for our drugs in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, which include the fastest growing economies in the world," said Bellenson. "In addition to these growing markets, we could monetize our drugs via the US FDA priority voucher program."

The leishmaniasis testing will occur at Mulago Hospital, Kampala under the direction of Dr. Joseph Olobo, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Department of Parasitology and Microbiology at Makerere University. Mulago is the largest hospital in Uganda and serves as the teaching hospital for Makerere University Medical School.