Toray Developing Pegylated Interferon Beta for HCV
JAPAN’S TORAY TESTING ALTERED INTERFERON FOR HEPATITIS C VIRUS
TOKYO, Feb 25, 2009 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) — TRYIY | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating — Toray Industries Inc. (TSE:3402) and a research team from the University of Tokyo have begun clinical trials on a modified form of interferon beta for treatment of hepatitis C.
This version of interferon beta is stabilized with PEG in a targeted manner to cloak the compound from the immune system. In tests using rabbits, unmodified interferon beta was eradicated from the blood in just a day, whereas Toray’s PEG-modified interferon beta remained for six days. This suggests it might be possible to treat hepatitis C with weekly subcutaneous injections.
Tests in monkeys, mice and cultured human cells have confirmed the compound’s safety, durability, and ability to inhibit the proliferation of the hepatitis C virus.
Over the past six months, Toray has conducted safety tests on 10 or so healthy subjects each given a single injection. And in the second half of this year, it will conduct tests giving subjects multiple injections. The firm expects to conduct clinical trials on actual patients infected with the hepatitis C virus starting in 2011. The goal is to file for approval of a new drug in 2015.
Toray is developing its PEG-modified interferon beta for hepatitis C patients who do not respond well to the conventional combination therapy of ribavirin and interferon alpha.
If the clinical trials produce good results, Toray will seek collaboration with pharmaceutical firms. The global market for hepatitis C drugs is worth roughly 200 billion yen.
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