NeuroVive's anti-viral preclinical program, with compound designated NVP018, has generated significant data indicating that NVP018 has the potential to become an effective alternative or addition to current drugs for treating chronic hepatitis B infections. This new data will be presented at the EASL (European Association for the Study of the Liver) congress in London, in April 2014 (www.ilc-congress.eu).
The results indicate that NVP018 has a dual effect against the hepatitis B virus. Firstly, the data generated suggests that NVP018 directly inhibits several stages in viral propagation in liver cells, and secondly, NVP018 also operates indirectly by strengthening the immune response. The data also indicates that the risk of developing resistance, a significant clinical problem with current therapy alternatives for hepatitis B, is very low with NVP018. Finally, NVP018 also demonstrates activity in an animal model of chronic hepatitis B infection.
According to the WHO, over 2 billion people have been in contact with the hepatitis B virus and 240 million people have developed chronic hepatitis B. This means that the disease is one of the largest global medical challenges. The chronic disease is estimated to cause more than 600,000 deaths yearly through advanced cirrhosis of the liver or primary liver cancer. The disease is worldwide, but most common in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa, with over 8% chronic carriers. In Western Europe and the US, the frequency is less than 1%. Currently available pharmaceuticals display limited effectiveness and there is a significant risk of the virus developing resistance, so accordingly, there is a substantial need for new pharmaceuticals.
NVP018 is an oral preparation of NeuroVive's leading drug candidate in the company's new portfolio of cyclophilin inhibitors. The preclinical development program has demonstrated that NVP018 has unique characteristics that make it a promising anti-viral drug candidate and the new research results underscore NVP018's clinical potential for treating chronic hepatitis B infection.
"The results of the preclinical tests of NVP018, conducted by bodies including the prestigious Scripps Research Institute are very promising, with convincing data that cyclophilin inhibitors have a positive effect to hepatitis B virus infection. NVP018 is currently in a preclinical program, to be administered on patients at a later stage in clinical trials," commented Jan Nilsson, COO of NeuroVive.
NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB