Gilead, Vir partner for HBV combination research
Gilead Sciences and Vir Biotechnology will collaborate on a study to research novel combination therapies for patients with chronic hepatitis B virus, according to a Gilead press release.
The two companies will work together on a phase 2 trial aimed at finding a functional cure for HBV using different combinations of treatments they manufacture, selgantolimod and VIR-2218.
“Gilead has a 2-decade commitment to people with hepatitis B and we have worked tirelessly to bring new treatments forward with the goal of helping to improve their lives,” Anuj Gaggar, vice president of clinical research and virology at Gilead, said in the release. “We believe that selgantolimod and VIR-2218 have the potential to be best-in-class therapeutics and could provide a compelling new combination approach to a functional cure for HBV.”
The trial will evaluate therapies in patients who are treatment naive and those who have previously been exposed to treatment. The primary outcome of the study will be the proportion of patients who achieve a functional cure, defined as an off-therapy loss of hepatitis surface antigen and HBV DNA from the serum.
“We believe a functional cure for the majority of patients will require a reduction of the levels of circulating viral proteins together with an immune boost to stimulate the production of new T-cells that can bring the infection under control,” Phil Pang, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of Vir Biotechnology, said in the release. “We believe that this collaboration with Gilead adds a novel and significant new combination to our efforts to find a cure for HBV.”