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Innovative Company Develops Product to Combat HIV Virus

By Julie King |

If you were to drive by the basic industrial building that houses Polydex Pharmaceuticals Ltd. you would probably never guess that inside this very ordinary looking company work is underway to bring to market a product that could slow the spread of HIV / AIDs.

Yet that is exactly what George Usher, President and CEO of Polydex Pharmaceuticals Ltd., hopes to achieve with his company's microbicide product, Ushercell®. A microbicide is a product designed to prevent HIV infection and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

It was George Usher's father who came up with the idea of trying their product Cellulose Sulphate as a potential treatment for HIV. The researcher found that the product seemed to act as a contraceptive compound and that it appeared to be active against sexually transmitted infections and the HIV virus.

Ushercell is a vaginal cream, which is an important advantage for use in countries such as Africa because allows women to choose to use the product, which can be a problem with the use of condoms as men will often refuse to use one.

As a small company with the demands of its regular customers, Polydex Phramaceuticals Ltd. was extremely limited in its ability to move forward with research on the Ushercell product.

The company was lucky to develop a working relationship with CONRAD, a U.S. based organization established in 1986 under a cooperative agreement between Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

"We just haven't had the resources to do what we should be doing," says Usher. "Thankfully CONRAD's come along and done a lot of extra work that theoretically we should have done, but because we didn't have the resources and the people they've picked up."

Watch the video to learn more about George Usher and his company's work to develop an effective product to fight the HIV / AIDS virus.

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