Posted by: admin in Pharmacy Drugs on July 18th, 2010
SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCLN) today announced the enrollment of its first patient at the Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates in Atlanta, GA, in a phase 2 trial of SCV-07 for the treatment of hepatitis C (also known as HCV). This multicenter, multidose, open-label study is designed to evaluate the safety and immunomodulatory effects of SCV-07 as a monotherapy or in combination with ribavirin in non-cirrhotic patients with genotype 1 chronic HCV who have relapsed after at least 44 weeks of treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.
“During our previous phase 2A clinical trial of SCV-07 as a monotherapy to treat patients with chronic hepatitis C infections, we were pleased by the safety data and were very encouraged by the efficacy signal, namely, a reduction of viral loads and a corresponding increase in neopterin concentration in some patients after only seven days of SCV-07 administration,” said Friedhelm Blobel, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of SciClone. “SciClone is eager to investigate further SCV-07’s potential to enhance the immune response against hepatitis C and to determine whether the compound is capable of improving the current standard of care treatment.”
“Currently approved therapies for the treatment of HCV can have significant side effects and often fall short of providing the most important treatment outcome, sustained viral response,” said Kenneth Sherman, MD, PhD, Gould Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, and a principal investigator in SciClone’s study. “We are very excited by what appears to be SCV-07’s ability to enhance patients’ immune function without adding significant toxicity. Should ongoing clinical trials show the benefits of adding SCV-07 to ribavirin, it has the potential to become incorporated into standard treatment practices in the future.”
The study, which will monitor biomarkers of immune activation and HCV viral load dynamics, will include two treatment cohorts of 20 patients each, who will receive SCV-07 at a dose of either 0.1 mg/kg or 1.0 mg/kg. The treatment period will be approximately eight weeks long, including four weeks of SCV-07 monotherapy followed by four weeks of SCV-07 in combination with ribavirin. In addition, there will be three follow-up visits within seven weeks after the completion of treatment.
For more information on SciClone’s phase 2 trial of SCV-07 in the treatment of HCV, please visit http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/.
SCV-07 is a small molecule which stimulates the immune system through inhibition of STAT3-dependant signaling and the resulting effects on T-helper 1 cells, which are essential for clearance of viral infections. SCV-07 has shown a good safety profile in several early stage clinical trials in healthy volunteers and subjects with HCV at various doses. SciClone is also carrying out a phase-2, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of SCV-07 for the treatment of oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancers undergoing chemo-radiation. The topline results from this trial are expected to be announced in the first half of 2010.
SCV-07 is protected by composition of matter patents as well as multiple method of treatment patents. SciClone has exclusive worldwide rights to SCV-07 outside of Russia, where the molecule has recently been approved for stimulation of depressed immune systems.
About the Hepatitis C Virus
HCV is a blood-borne viral disease which causes inflammation of the liver. The World Health Organization estimates that 170 million people worldwide are infected with HCV, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 8 to 10 million people are infected with HCV throughout the U.S. and Europe. Of these patients, approximately 85% are chronically infected, and the persistent liver inflammation in chronically infected patients can develop serious complications including cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Only about half of all naive patients treated with current therapy achieve a sustained viral response, and SciClone estimates nearly 1 million HCV patients in the United States alone have failed or will fail current therapy. The market for HCV therapeutics in the three major economic regions of the United States, Europe and Japan is estimated to total approximately $3 billion currently and is expected to grow to approximately $10 billion by 2014.