The biopharmaceutical company Novira Therapeutics, Inc., recently began clinical trials of a new hepatitis B virus (HBV) treatment.
The orally-administered NVR-1221 is a direct-acting antiviral drug that targets the the HBV core or capsid protein. It is designed to more efficiently suppress HBV and improve cure rates.
NVR-1221 successfully completed it's clinical trial application in New Zealand. Phase Ia of the trial will study dose-related safety and tolerance in 40 healthy volunteers.
"We are thrilled to begin the clinical development NVR-1221," Lalo Flores, the co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Novira Therapeutics, said. "Achievement of this important milestone positions NVR-1221 to be the first agent to test the curative potential of HBV core inhibitors in the clinic."
The next step of the clinical study will use volunteers with HBV.
"We look forward to completing this phase Ia trial over the coming months and commencing a phase Ib clinical study to test NVR-1221 in chronic HBV patients as mono-therapy and in combination with approved agents," Christian S. Schade, the CEO of Novira Therapeutics, said.
An estimated 350 million people worldwide live with HBV, which can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Current treatments suppress the virus but rarely lead to a cure.
Novira Therapeutics specializes in developing treatments for chronic HBV.