December 13, 2012
Kinfe Ken Redda, interim vice president of research at Florida A&M University (FAMU), and his research team have received a patent for the development of therapeutic agents suitable for treating humans who are infected with HIV. They were awarded US Patent #8,314,143 titled, "Synthetic Flavonoids and Pharmaceutical Compositions and Therapeutic Methods of Treatment of HIV Infection and other Pathologies." Redda was principal investigator and co-inventor.
The patent includes a group of compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids are present in vascular plants and are known for their range of biological activities. Redda's team has developed compounds that are synthetic flavonoid derivatives designed to target a specific enzyme, HIV integrase. Redda stated that the compounds showed superior inhibitory activities compared to zidovudine (AZT), a drug used for HIV treatment. He admits that there is a long way to go before the right remedy for treating HIV is developed, but Redda believes that they have taken the first step, and sees great potential for the compounds to become an effective HIV/AIDS treatment.