North Carolina State University and Erimos Pharmaceuticals are seeking patent coverage for a potential treatment of several influenza strains, including Avian Flu.

Erimos, which is based in Houston, maintains a research facility at NCSU’s Centennial Campus.

The patent is for EM-1421, the lead drug compound under development by Erimos. Researchers from NCSU’s Department of Microbiology are also involved in the process.

The compound is actually involved in clinical trials for treatment of malignant tumors.

“While our research to date is preliminary, indications are that EM-1421 could be used to treat influenza, and potentially Avian Flu as well,” said Scott Laster, a NCSU professor of microbiology who is heading the research.