HCV Treatment Clincal Trial Announcement
lobeImmune Initiates Phase 1b Study of GI-5005 for Chronic Hepatitis C Infection
DENVER, July 26 /PRNewswire/ — GlobeImmune, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and manufactures immunotherapeutic products known as Tarmogens(TM) to treat cancer and infectious disease, today announced that it has initiated a Phase 1b study of GI-5005, a Tarmogen for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection (HCV). This study is being conducted under an Investigational New Drug application (IND) that was filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2005.
The Phase 1b study is a double-blind, placebo controlled, dose-escalation, multi-center trial evaluating the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of GI- 5005, a Tarmogen expressing a NS3-Core fusion protein. NS3 and Core are HCV protein antigens that are expressed in infected cells and are essential for virus replication. GI-5005 has demonstrated robust activity in preclinical models of HCV. Because Tarmogens elicit a balanced immune response that is similar to the response occurring in the minority of individuals who successfully clear primary hepatitis C infection, the Company believes that the GI-5005 Tarmogen may represent a successful approach to treating this difficult disease.
“Hepatitis C is an area of major unmet medical need,” said Timothy C. Rodell, M.D., CEO of GlobeImmune. “We are hopeful that GI-5005 will ultimately be able to treat the significant proportion of patients for whom there is currently no effective therapy. This is a significant event for GlobeImmune, as this milestone represents the second Tarmogen product to enter human clinical trials in 18 months and the first clinical trial of a Tarmogen for the treatment of an infectious disease.”
Chronic hepatitis C infection, a viral liver disease, is a global health epidemic. Currently, there are approximately 170 million people worldwide who are infected with the hepatitis C virus. Of these, 4-5 million live in the United States with an additional 5 million living in Western Europe. Approximately 20-30% of all hepatitis C patients will face life threatening complications as a result of their disease. Hepatitis C accounts for 20% of cases of acute hepatitis, 70% of cases of chronic hepatitis, 40% of cases of end-stage cirrhosis, 60% of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) and 30% of liver transplants in the United States.
The incidence of new symptomatic infections with hepatitis C has been estimated to be 13 cases/100,000 persons annually. For every one person that is infected with the AIDS virus, there are more than four infected with hepatitis C. The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are up to 230,000 new hepatitis C infections in the United States every year. Currently, 8,000 to 10,000 deaths each year are attributed to the disease.
GlobeImmune, Inc., is an emerging biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery, development and manufacturing of potent, targeted molecular immunotherapies called Tarmogens for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. The Company’s lead products are in Phase 1 testing for the treatment of hepatitis C infection and for the treatment of cancers of the lung and gastrointestinal tract. Tarmogens are whole, heat-killed recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast genetically modified to express one or more protein antigens that stimulate the immune system against diseased cells.