Aphios Corporation Granted US Patent for Drug Discovery Technique
May 11, 1999
Woburn, MA — Aphios Corporation has been granted United States Patent No. 5,854,064 on December 29, 1998. The patent is titled "Methods for Fractionation of Biologically Derived Materials" and is available for licensing.

In the patented process, supercritical and near-critical fluids with or without cosolvents (SuperFluids™) are used to fractionate biomass materials in two steps. In the first step, the biomass is exposed to elevated pressure SuperFluids™ to bring about disruption of the biomass. In the second step, the disrupted biomass is subjected to a multiplicity of SuperFluids™ fractionation steps, with different solvation conditions for each fraction. Thus, fractionation of the biomass is effected.

The discovery of natural products for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and healthcare industries can be significantly enhanced by the use of SuperFluids™ CXF fractionation techniques. Fractionating natural products by SuperFluids™ techniques result in partially purified fractions and "clean" hits in molecular and cellular assays. These techniques also provide engineering platforms for the rapid, cost-effective and truly "green" isolation and purification of bioactive secondary metabolites from terrestrial plants, microorganisms and marine macroorganisms.

Aphios conducted the research and developed the SuperFluids™ CXF process in a $3 million R&D program focused on the discovery and development of therapeutics and industrial chemicals from marine microorganisms. The program was partially funded by a prestigious $2 million Advance Technology Program (ATP) grant from the National Institute of Science and Technology, Department of Commerce. Industrial collaborators included: The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Wallingford, CT and Princeton, NJ; BetzDearborn/Hercules, Dallas, TX; Instituto BioMar, Leon, Spain; and The Gillette Company, Boston, MA.

Aphios has utilized SuperFluids™ CXF fractionation technology for the isolation of anti-cancer agents such as taxols and bryostatins; and the discovery of anti-viral (HIV and influenza) and anti-microbial agents.

Aphios' lead pre-clinical drug candidates are a SuperFluids plant fraction (CXF-Y2) which, at very low concentrations, has shown 100 % inhibition of the influenza virus, and a SuperFluids marine macroorganism fraction (CXF-B13) which at ultra-low concentrations appears to inhibit the replication of the HIV-I virus. CXF-Y2 is abundant and may have sufficient hydrophobicity for absorption in the gut (oral bioavailability). CXF-B13 is not as abundant, but is closely related to a potent anti-cancer agent currently in clinical trials in the United States and the United Kingdom. Several marine microorganism SuperFluids™ fractions active against the HIV virus have also been selected by an industrial collaborator for further development.

Aphios Corporation is a privately held research and development company developing research tools and industrial processes for the improved discovery, manufacturing, delivery and safety of naturally derived and genetically engineered therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases in a cost-effective manner.