WINSTON-Kucera Pharmaceuticals’ efforts to develop an anti-HIV drug received a boost Thursday, receiving a small business innovation research grant for $100,000 from two federal agencies.

The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease agreed to provide funds for work with Kucera’s compound known as KPC-2.

“The Phase I SBIR grant will support the completion of key laboratory
studies and the scale-up synthesis of KPC-2 for future animal studies,” said Dr. Ronald Fleming, the principal investigator of the grant and Kucera’s chief scientific officer, in a statement.

Kucera, which also is involved in cancer research, maintains its headquarters in the Piedmont Triad Research Park and has its laboratories in Research Triangle Park. The firm is a spinout from Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“This prestigious award means we can accelerate our antiviral research with the lead compound, KPC-2, toward future use in the HIV/AIDS clinic,” said Dr. Louis Kucera, professor of microbiology and immunology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and co-investigator on the SBIR grant.