Emory University will collaborate with FemmePharma to study a library of molecules and their respective activity against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The intention of the collaboration is to identify lead candidates for the drug development process.

FemmePharma is a prescription pharmaceutical company in Wayne, PA, dedicated to developing drugs for diseases and disorders disproportionately affecting women. Emory is located in Atlanta.

“This new collaboration with FemmePharma is of critical importance in developing these microbicides as products for protection against HIV,” said Richard Compans, principal investigator of the Emory topical microbicide program project grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH), and professor and chair of the department of microbiology and immunology.

For the last four years, the NIH as supported a collaborative group including researchers from Emory, Georgia State University, and Louisiana State University that has been studying the ability of porphyrins and related compounds to inhibit infection by HIV.

The collaboration Emory has with FemmePharma will advance these active compounds to clinical trials. Compounds will first be synthesized, purified, and characterized in biological studies, and the activity of the lead compounds against infectious HIV-1 virions will be determined. Effective compounds will be screened using animal models prior to formulation and human testing by FemmePharma.

“FemmePharma is proud to be working with Emory University and these other outstanding organizations in this critical arena of vaginal microbicides,” said Gerianne Tringali DiPiano, president and chief executive officer of FemmePharma. “We look forward to the development process and hope to ultimately deliver a difference to women as they face choices regarding protection against HIV and STDs.”

Emory: www.emory.edu

FemmePharma: www.femmepharmainc.com