Biopharmaceutical Isotechnika Pharma has received additional funding from the Canadian National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program ("NRC-IRAP") for its Non-Immunosuppressive Cyclophilin Antagonist Molecules ("NICAMs") program. NRC-IRAP helped network the NICAM program with global partners and previously assisted Isotechnika in late-stage screening of several NICAM compounds, including evaluation of anti-hepatitis C virus ("HCV") activity.
These evaluations have also been funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease ("NIAID"), part of NIH, and have led to the identification of a lead NICAM compound—440-02—for development as an anti-HCV agent.
The project will define the scope of 440-02 activity by studying its actions on several HCV genotypes and in combination with other anti-viral agents and will be conducted by the Scripps Research Institute.
"Despite improvements in treatment, HCV remains a significant unmet medical need as the current standard of care does not work for everyone and can produce problematic side effects, which at times may lead to the discontinuation of treatment. Cyclophilin inhibitors target host rather than viral protein and may complement the direct-acting antiviral drugs by increasing the barrier to viral resistance and broadening the genotype treatment profile," said Dr. Robert Foster, Isotechnika's president and chief executive officer.