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Xechem Receives $473,181 SBIR Grant from NIH-NHLBI

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Xechem International, Inc. has announced that it has received a SBIR grant in the amount of $473,181 from the National Institutes of HealthNational Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI) to carry out the toxicity studies on the five-membered heterocyclic anti-sickling compound known as 5-HMF.

Researchers from both Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), University of Pennsylvania are expected to participate in the 5-HMF trials.

As previously reported, Xechem acquired the exclusive worldwide rights for 5-HMF in December 2005 under a license agreement with VCU and on May 26th, 2006, Xechem was successful in obtaining Orphan Drug designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the drug.

Research led by Dr. Donald Abraham of VCU has shown 5-HMF to be "the best potential anti-sickling agent in 30 years of sickle cell research," performed by his group.

According to Xechem's Chairman and CEO, Dr. Ramesh Pandey, "We are very pleased to have received this significant grant to fund the toxicity studies of 5-HMF, which has shown great promise as a new type of anti-sickling agent that interacts specifically with intracellular hemoglobin without interacting with other proteins in the body."

"The grant award will allow us to immediately move forward on the 5-HMF front as we continue with our ongoing efforts to expand our production capability for our first sickle cell drug (NICOSANTM), which was launched in Nigeria on July 6th, 2006."