Arbutus Biopharma Corporation , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on developing a cure for people with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, as well as therapies to treat coronaviruses (including COVID-19), today announced that it has received regulatory approval to initiate a Phase 1a/1b clinical trial with AB-836, its proprietary oral capsid inhibitor for the treatment of HBV infection.
“We are pleased that we have received regulatory approval to proceed with our Phase 1a/1b clinical trial for AB-836, and we expect to begin dosing shortly. Initiation of this trial is an important step towards potential future proprietary combinations with AB-729 and other mechanisms,” said William Collier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arbutus.
Dr. Michael Sofia, Chief Scientific Officer of Arbutus, added, “Based on pre-clinical studies with AB-836, which is derived from a novel chemical series in this class, we believe it has the potential for improved clinical efficacy and safety as well as a favorable resistance profile relative to earlier generation capsid inhibitors. In addition, we believe that the strong potency of AB-836 as shown in in vitro testing should allow active engagement of the second mechanism of inhibiting cccDNA replenishment at clinically relevant doses.”
AB-836 is an oral capsid inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection. It is from a novel chemical series that is differentiated from competitor compounds and has the potential for increased efficacy and an enhanced resistance profile. AB-836 binds to a novel site within the core protein dimer-dimer interface and has shown in in vitro testing to be active against nucleotide analog resistant variants and also has the potential to address certain known capsid resistant variants. AB-836 has been shown in in vitro studies to be active against nucleoside resistant variants and therapeutically relevant activity against key core protein resistant variants I105T and T33N. AB-836 is anticipated to be combinable with other drugs having different mechanisms of action for treating HBV, including AB-729, and is also anticipated to be dosed once daily.
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by HBV. HBV can cause chronic infection which leads to a higher risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer. Chronic HBV infection represents a significant unmet medical need. The World Health Organization estimates that over 250 million people worldwide suffer from chronic HBV infection, while other estimates indicate that approximately 2 million people in the United States suffer from chronic HBV infection. Approximately 900,000 people die every year from complications related to chronic HBV infection despite the availability of effective vaccines and current treatment options.
Arbutus Biopharma Corporation is a publicly traded (Nasdaq: ABUS) biopharmaceutical company primarily dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for people with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The Company is advancing multiple drug product candidates that may be combined into a potentially curative regimen for chronic HBV infection. Arbutus has also initiated a drug discovery and development effort for treating coronaviruses (including COVID-19). For more information, please visit www.arbutusbio.com.
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William H. Collier
President and CEO
Investor Relations Consultant