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Astex to present data on Hepatitis C Virus drug

Astex Pharmaceuticals is set to present its data on its first-in-class direct acting antiviral agents (DAA) used to treat Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

Astex has utilized its proprietary fragment-based drug discovery approach – Pyramid to target an unknown allosteric binding site on the full length HCV NS3 protease – helicase complex.

The company noticed that the agents acting at this site have a novel mode of action and a different resistance profile compared to NS3 protease inhibitors.

The data represent a new approach to develop targeted agents to treat HCV infection.

The company is choosing a clinical candidate with a view to filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application next year.

The research program has been supported with £2 million funding from the Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery initiative, is wholly owned by Astex.