Mintaka Foundation for medical research receives £2.7m for HIV research

The Mintaka Foundation for Medical Research in Geneva has received fund of £2.7m from Wellcome Trust

The fund will be used to proceed an anti-HIV microbicide known as 5P12-RANTES, to clinical trials. 5P12-RANTES is a microbicides, developed with a purpose of preventing HIV from spreading. The clinical trial will be conducted to prove the safety of the microbicide.

The company claims that 5P12-RANTES are among the most powerful substances known to prevent HIV. It was developed at Geneva's Faculty of Medicine by Mintaka's founders and is produced by fermentation of yeast.

The company added that the molecule is also extremely resistant to heat, which will enable it to be distributed and used in the tropics without refrigeration. It is also efficient at preventing the emergence of drug resistance, normally a major problem with anti-HIV pharmaceuticals.

Oliver Hartley, chief scientific officer of the Foundation, said: "We are grateful to the Wellcome Trust for its support and very happy to see our plans endorsed by such a prestigious organization."

Robin Offord, executive director of Mintaka, said: "Despite the generosity of Wellcome and our other donors, we still face a substantial funding challenge, but this award will transform our situation, permitting us at last to test this molecule on humans, we hope before the end of next year."