Progenics Selects Small-Molecule Hepatitis C Drug Candidate for Clinical Development
News Nov 10, 2008
Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced the selection of a proprietary small-molecule drug candidate, designated PRO 206, for clinical development as a treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
Pre-clinical results supporting the development of PRO 206 were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco. PRO 206 is an orally available viral-entry inhibitor, designed to prevent HCV from entering and infecting healthy liver cells.
PRO 206 represents an innovative treatment strategy as it specifically blocks the hepatitis C virus. HCV currently is treated with interferon in combination with ribavirin, non-specific antiviral agents that are associated with significant side effects and failure rates. Targeted antiviral agents are widely viewed to be a promising approach to improving treatment of HCV infection.
“The development of specifically targeted antiviral therapy for HCV (STAT-C) has the potential to transform treatment of this disease,” said Ira M. Jacobson, M.D., Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Medical Director of the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University. “Inhibiting viral entry is a proven approach for treating other viral diseases, and I look forward to seeing this strategy explored in HCV infection.”