Biotron Limited (ASX:BIT)
Biotron (ASX:BIT) is developing novel small molecule antiviral therapeutics targeting a range of viruses including Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV-1.
The Company’s core expertise lies in designing and developing new drugs that target a new class of viral proteins known as viroporins. Viroporins are found in a range of viruses, and include the p7 protein of HCV, Vpu protein of HIV-1, M2 protein of Influenza, and M protein of Dengue virus. These small hydrophobic proteins are assembled into oligomeric ion channels. Viroporins play key roles in viral pathogenesis, and are essential to the virus life cycle, which makes them ideal drug targets.
Biotron’s lead drug, BIT225, is in Phase 2 clinical development for treatment of both HIV-1 and HCV.
For HIV-1, BIT225 offers the potential to eradicate reservoirs of virus found in long-lived macrophage cells, which contribute to the need for life-long treatment with antiretroviral drugs. Eradication or cure of HIV-1 infection remains the holy grail of HIV-1 treatment strategies.
For HCV, BIT225 offers potential as a new class of oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drug that may be used in combination with other new classes of DAAs, offering future treatment options within the complex field of HCV treatment strategies.
In addition to its clinical stage programs for BIT225, Biotron has early stage programs targeting emerging viruses with significant health and economic impact, such as Zika and Dengue.