Eleven HIV Patients Successfully Reach One Year of Full Virologic Suppression in PRO 140 Monotherapy Phase 2b Extension Study

VANCOUVER, Wash., Dec. 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CytoDyn Inc. (OTCQB:CYDY), a biotechnology company focused on the development of new therapies for combating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, today announced that 11 HIV-1 patients receiving PRO 140 monotherapy in an extension study have now successfully reached one year of maximal virologic suppression. These patients substituted their daily Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) regimen with weekly subcutaneous injections of PRO 140. These 11 patients continuing on the extension study have experienced successful monotherapy with PRO 140 for a period ranging from 12 to 15 months to date.

Following the initial 13-week treatment period in the Phase 2b study, patients with full viral load suppression could continue receiving weekly PRO 140 monotherapy (one 350 mg dose) in an extension study. Full or maximal virologic suppression is defined as plasma HIV-1 RNA less than 40 copies/milliliter, the lower limit of detection of the commercial assay. Patients enrolled in this study are infected with strains of HIV-1 that utilize the CCR5 co-receptor.  The PRO 140 monoclonal antibody targets CCR5 with high affinity and potently blocks HIV-1 infection.  

Jacob P. Lalezari, M.D., the principal investigator of the PRO 140 Phase 2b trial and extension study from Quest Clinical Research, commented, "We are very pleased to report maximal virologic suppression with PRO 140 monotherapy in 11 out of 14 HIV-1 patients who are participating in this treatment-substitution study. The durability of the response to PRO 140 monotherapy over at least a one year period is remarkable. In addition, PRO 140 appears well tolerated in all patients treated to date."

Dr. Nader Pourhassan, CytoDyn's President and CEO, commented, "As a result of these 11 patients reaching this significant milestone of one year without taking any HAART drugs, we are planning to request a meeting with the FDA to discuss a second Phase 3 trial (expanded label) for long-term monotherapy, in addition to our current Phase 3 trial that is under way. We will also discuss with the FDA possibilities of a breakthrough designation for resistance patients. We believe the solution for nonadherence to the current HAART regimen of oral drugs could be a monotherapy with PRO 140, which allows patients to rotate off their toxic drugs for potentially many months. The top-line report for our monotherapy study has been prepared and CytoDyn will be publishing the results from this trial in a peer reviewed journal."

About CytoDyn

CytoDyn is a biotechnology company focused on the clinical development and potential commercialization of humanized monoclonal antibodies for the treatment and prevention of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. The Company has one of the leading monoclonal antibodies under development for HIV infection, PRO 140, which has finished Phase 2 clinical trials with demonstrated antiviral activity in man and is currently in Phase 3. PRO 140 blocks the HIV co-receptor CCR5 on T-cells which prevents viral entry. Clinical trial results thus far indicate that PRO 140 does not negatively affect the normal immune functions that are mediated by CCR5. Results from six Phase 1 and Phase 2 human clinical trials have shown that PRO 140 can significantly reduce viral burden in people infected with HIV. A recent Phase 2b clinical trial demonstrated that PRO 140 can prevent viral escape in patients during several weeks of interruption from conventional drug therapy. CytoDyn intends to continue to develop PRO 140 as a therapeutic anti-viral agent in persons infected with HIV. For more information on the Company, please visit www.cytodyn.com.

About PRO 140

PRO 140 belongs to a new class of HIV/AIDS therapeutics -- viral-entry inhibitors -- that are intended to protect healthy cells from viral infection. PRO 140 is a fully humanized IgG4 monoclonal antibody directed against CCR5, a molecular portal that HIV uses to enter T-cells. PRO 140 blocks the predominant HIV (R5) subtype entry into T-cells by masking this required co-receptor, CCR5. Importantly PRO 140 does not appear to interfere with the normal function of CCR5 in mediating immune responses. PRO 140 does not have agonist activity towards CCR5 but does have antagonist activity to CCL5 which is a central mediator in inflammatory diseases. PRO 140 has been the subject of seven clinical trials, each demonstrating efficacy by significantly reducing or controlling HIV viral load in human test subjects. PRO 140 has been designated a "fast track" product candidate by the FDA. The PRO 140 antibody appears to be a powerful antiviral agent leading to potentially fewer side effects and less frequent dosing requirements as compared to daily drug therapies currently in use. 

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of United States securities laws, including statements regarding the Company's Phase 3 study and its results and completion, as well as other studies. These statements and information represent CytoDyn's intentions, plans, expectations, and beliefs and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many beyond CytoDyn's control. These factors could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements or information. The words "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "attempt," "anticipate," "foresee," "plan," and similar expressions and variations thereof identify certain of such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, which speak only as of the date on which they are made.

CytoDyn disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. While it is impossible to identify or predict all such matters, these differences may result from, among other things, the inherent uncertainty of the timing and success of and expense associated with research, development, regulatory approval, and commercialization of CytoDyn's products and product candidates, including the risks that clinical trials will not commence or proceed as planned; products appearing promising in early trials will not demonstrate efficacy or safety in larger-scale trials; future clinical trial data on CytoDyn's products and product candidates will be unfavorable; funding for additional clinical trials may not be available; CytoDyn's products may not receive marketing approval from regulators or, if approved, may fail to gain sufficient market acceptance to justify development and commercialization costs; competing products currently on the market or in development may reduce the commercial potential of CytoDyn's products; CytoDyn, its collaborators or others may identify side effects after the product is on the market; or efficacy or safety concerns regarding marketed products, whether or not scientifically justified, may lead to product recalls, withdrawals of marketing approval, reformulation of the product, additional pre-clinical testing or clinical trials, changes in labeling of the product, the need for additional marketing applications, or other adverse events.

CytoDyn is also subject to additional risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with the actions of its corporate, academic, and other collaborators and government regulatory agencies; risks from market forces and trends; potential product liability; intellectual property litigation; environmental and other risks; and risks that current and pending patent protection for its products may be invalid, unenforceable, or challenged or fail to provide adequate market exclusivity. There are also substantial risks arising out of CytoDyn's need to raise additional capital to develop its products and satisfy its financial obligations; the highly regulated nature of its business, including government cost-containment initiatives and restrictions on third-party payments for its products; the highly competitive nature of its industry; and other factors set forth in CytoDyn's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2015 and other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investor Relations:
Wolfe Axelrod Weinberger Associates, LLC
Contact: Robert Schatz, Managing Director
Office: 212-370-4500
E-mail:  Rob@wolfeaxelrod.com

Dr. Nader Pourhassan
Office: 360-980-8524
E-mail: npourhassan@cytodyn.com

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Source: CytoDyn