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.