Abivax published details of the mechanism of action for its lead drug candidate ABX464 in the journal Retrovirology yesterday. CEO of the Paris, France-based company, Hartmut Ehrlich, said the small molecule has the potential to transform treatment for patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
“If the in vivo data are confirmed in human clinical trials, ABX464 has the potential to change the way HIV patients are treated and could even become a cornerstone of a functional cure,” he told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
He explained that ABX464 prevents viral RNA being exported from the nucleus of a cell to the cytoplasm where protein synthesis takes place, mediated by a viral protein called Rev.
The molecule is the first under development to inhibit Rev and therefore it has the potential to “target both infected and non-infected cells,” Ehrlich said, “while traditional anti-retrovirals only prevent the infection of new cells.”
He revealed Abivax had received a lot of interest from Big Pharma about the candidate, adding the firm is planning to partner ABX464 for Phase III trials and commercialization, at least for North America and Europe, though he fell short at saying which firms specifically.
However, “the technology platform could work on other viral diseases as well, like dengue, chikungunya, hepatitis B and HSV, just to name a few.” He said, adding Abivax already had candidates against dengue and chikungunya in the preclinical stage.