Benitec Biopharma (ASX:BLT) has announced that it has initiated a new site for its ongoing Phase I/IIa TT-034 trial at the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute in Dallas, Texas.
TT-034 is a ddRNAi-based therapeutic, designed to treat and potentially cure hepatitis C (HCV) with a single administration.
TT-034 targets the hepatitis C viral RNA at three separate, highly conserved sites. As such, the company says it acts as a 'triple therapy even though it is a monotherapy, and minimises the ability of the virus to mutate and escape the therapy. Once it reaches the liver cells it enters the nucleus and produces three separate short hairpin RNAs continuously for the lifetime of the cell. It has the potential to not only treat the existing HCV infection but to guard against reinfection for months to years without the need to re-treat.
The new trial site, the fourth, has commenced pre-screening hepatitis C patients and is led by principal investigator Dr Parvez Mantry, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist.
According to Benitec CEO and Managing Director, Dr Peter French, “We are pleased to welcome a fourth site to join our first-in-man trial of TT-034, an innovative therapeutic based on Benitec’s gene silencing technology, ddRNAi. The addition of this site reflects the growing interest from the medical community in Benitec’s potentially transformational approach to treating and curing hepatitis C. Recruitment and dosing for the trial is proceeding well.”