Yale Grants Exclusive License To ArQule Inc. For Chemical Method Of Creating Drugs That Could Help Fight AIDS, Emphysema

December 31, 1996

Yale Grants License to ArQule Inc.
CONTACT: Cynthia L. Atwood, Yale Public Affairs Office, (203)432-1326
Betsy Godshalk, Feinstein Partners Inc. (617) 577-8110
For Immediate Release

Yale Grants Exclusive License to ArQule, Inc. for Chemical Method Of Creating Drugs that Could Help Fight AIDS, Emphysema

New Haven, CT - The Yale Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) and ArQule Inc. of Medford, Massachusetts, announced today that Yale University has granted the company an exclusive license for the development of patent-pending discoveries made by Harry Wasserman, the Eugene Higgins Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Yale, and his former post doctoral associate, Wen-Bin Ho. The discoveries could help the company develop drugs for treating a wide-range of disorders, including cardiovascular diseases, emphysema, AIDS and Alzheimer's disease.

The Yale chemists' methods make it possible to rapidly and efficiently synthesize alpha-ketoamide-based compounds, which research has shown can block or inhibit key enzymes called proteases. Most AIDS medications now in clinical trials or entering the market are classified as protease inhibitors. As part of the agreement, ArQule also will support continued research in Professor Wasserman's laboratory.

"We are very excited about this opportunity to work with ArQule on promising new pharmaceuticals," said Dr. Gregory E. Gardiner, a former director of research and development for Pfizer Inc., who recently became director of Yale's expanded OCR office. "Dr. Wasserman's discovery complements one of ArQule's core technologies, which is based on a series of organic molecules that form a molecular scaffold to which functional elements can be attached. This enables the company to generate a large number of chemical compounds with varied structures as scientists search for the most effective drugs against a particular disease."

This agreement is an example of how Yale's efforts to bring its research discoveries to the marketplace are generating solid results for the University and for the public, said Dr. Gardiner, adding that Yale has negotiated more than 200 license agreements since the OCR was founded in 1982. During that same period, Yale earned $15 million in royalties from numerous U.S. and foreign patents and from technology licenses.

Among Yale's major discoveries are an AIDS medication called ZeritTM (d4T) recently launched by Bristol Myers Squibb, and a Lyme disease vaccine now in clinical trials for humans by SmithKline Beecham and for animals by Pfizer. Yale has a large program in antiviral research directed at hepatitis and has made important contributions to biotechnology in the areas of ribozymes and gene sequencing, Dr. Gardiner said.

Yale's scientists also made the fundamental discovery in electrospray mass spectrometry, which allows the accurate measurement of the molecular weight of macromolecules. In addition to work in life sciences, Yale is developing important inventions in semiconductor chip fabrication and fiber optics. Overall, the value of public companies founded on inventions by Yale scientists is about $750 million.

"Yale's highly promising technology will enhance our ability to discover and optimize small molecule compounds that mimic the specific and potent activity of certain protease inhibitors," said David L. Coffen, Ph.D., vice president of chemistry at ArQule. "The alpha-ketoamide chemistry readily integrates into ArQule's Chemistry Operating System, a molecular building-block system for the high-speed, parallel synthesis of pure, well-characterized small molecule organic compounds."

ArQule's drug discovery programs involve collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies and academic researchers, including Abbott Laboratories, Solvay Duphar and Pharmacia Biotech.

Note to Editors: Dr. Gregory E. Gardiner, director of the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, can be contacted for interviews at (203) 432-7240. Eric B. Gordon, president and CEO of ArQule Inc., can be interviewed at (617) 395-4100. Professor Harry Wasserman can be reached at (203) 432-3973. Dr. Wen-Bin Ho is now with Fibrogen in Sunnyvale, California.
Back to News Release summaries.

Yale University

Related Aids Articles from Brightsurf:

Developing a new vaccination strategy against AIDS
Infection researchers from the German Primate Center (DPZ) -- Leibniz Institute for Primate Research have in cooperation with international colleagues tested a new vaccination strategy against the HIV-related simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in rhesus monkeys.

HIV-AIDS: Following your gut
Researchers find a way to reduce replication of the AIDS virus in the gastrointestinal tract.

A path toward ending AIDS in the US by 2025
Using prevention surveillance data to model rates of HIV incidence, prevalence and mortality, investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health set targets, specifically a decrease in new infections to 21,000 by 2020 and to 12,000 by 2025, that would mark a transition toward ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

What does it take for an AIDS virus to infect a person?
Researchers examined the characteristics of HIV-1 strains that were successful in traversing the genital mucosa that forms a boundary to entry by viruses and bacteria.

How AIDS conquered North America
A new technique that allowed researchers to analyze genetic material from serum samples of HIV patients taken before AIDS was known provides a glimpse of unprecedented detail into the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic in North America.

New research could help build better hearing aids
Scientists at Binghamton University, State University of New York want to improve sensor technology critical to billions of devices made every year.

NY State Department of Health AIDS Institute funds HIV/AIDS prevention in high-risk youth
NewYork-Presbyterian's Comprehensive Health Program and Project STAY, an initiative of the Harlem Heath Promotion Center (HHPC) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health has received two grants totaling more than $3.75 million from the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute for their continued efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS in at-risk youth.

A new way to nip AIDS in the bud
When new HIV particles bud from an infected cell, the enzyme protease activates to help the viruses infect more cells.

AIDS research prize for Warwick academic
A researcher at the University of Warwick has received international recognition for his contribution to AIDS research.

Insects inspire next generation of hearing aids
An insect-inspired microphone that can tackle the problem of locating sounds and eliminate background noise is set to revolutionize modern-day hearing aid systems.

Read More: Aids News and Aids Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.