Biotron (ASX:BIT) has announced that in recently completed preclinical studies several of its compounds have demonstrated significant anti-viral activity against hepatitis B (HBV).
The studies were completed in the US in cell culture models that are considered ‘industry standard’.
The World Health Organisation estimates 257 million people are infected with HBV and that up to 900,000 die every year from the disease for which there is no cure. Estimates by GBI Research indicate that the market for HBV drugs is expected to reach US$3.5 billion by 2021.
Pharmaceutical companies such as Gilead, Janssen and MSD have active programs developing drugs to treat HBV.
According to managing director, Dr Michelle Miller, “Although Biotron’s work on its HBV compounds is preclinical the interest level in the development of HBV treatments is as at an all-time high. We are seeing evidence of this in the number of early stage deals and collaborations being currently being undertaken in the sector. We believe this may provide Biotron with an early stage development opportunity with an appropriate partner.”