The investigational hepatitis C treatment under development by BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX) is now ready to move into human studies following positive preclinical trial results released today.
BioCryst expects to file an investigational new drug application on the compound BCX5191 in the fourth quarter. BioCryst believes BCX5191 can be developed into a drug with once-a-day dosing with fewer side effects than the existing slate of hepatitis C drugs. The treatment will address a market of more than 170 million hepatitis C patients worldwide.
While Durham, North Carolina-based BioCryst plans to conduct early stage clinical trials for its hepatitis C treatment candidate, CEO Jon Stonehouse has said that the company wants to partner with a large pharmaceutical company for late-stage development and commercialization of the drug. Stonehouse said the compound needs a Big Pharma company with the resources to finance the large, global clinical studies needed to develop BCX5191.
BioCryst’s news on BCX5191 comes amid a flurry of interest and deal-making in new hepatitis C treatments. Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) recently acquired Pharmasset for $10.8 billion to use its experimental nucleotide drug as part of a new hepatitis C combination drug. Other drugmakers are also exploring hepatitis C combination drugs.
BioCryst plans to discuss its BCX5191 findings Thursday morning during its conference call to discuss 2011 financial results.