Clinical stage biotechnology company, Benitec Biopharma Ltd., recently announced it has opened a 4th additional site to carry out ongoing Phase 1/2a studies on TT-034, a novel treatment for Hepatitis C that uses the company’s proprietary gene-silencing technology, DNA-directed RNA interference (ddRNAi).
The new site is located at the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute in Dallas, Texas and has initiated pre-screening of patients under the guidance of lead investigator gastroenterologist and hepatologist, Dr. Parvez Mantry. The other 3 clinical trial sites are located at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the University of California San Diego and the Texas Liver Institute.
Benitec CEO and Managing Director Dr. Peter French commented, “We are pleased to welcome a fourth site to join our first-in-man trial of TT-034, an innovative therapeutic based on Benitec’s gene silencing technology, ddRNAi. The addition of this site reflects the growing interest from the medical community in Benitec’s potentially transformational approach to treating and curing hepatitis C. Recruitment and dosing for the trial is proceeding well.”
TT-034, a ddRNAi-based potential cure for hepatitis C, is a one-time treatment formulated to specifically target viral RNA at three distinct, normally hard-to-reach sites, effectively reducing the virus’ ability to mutate and slip past therapy. It activates inside liver cells and begins producing short hairpin RNAs for the remainder of the cells’ lifetime, meaning it can lend a degree of protection against HCV recurrence.
It has been proved that individuals who are infected with the hepatitis C virus are more prone to liver damage. Now, according to recent results from a Johns Hopkins study, this infection might also result in cardiac complications.
The results were published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases and emerged from a bigger ongoing study that included men who have sex with men, many (not all) of whom were infected with HIV. These subjects were assisted over time to evaluate the risk of infection and disease progression. A group of subjects who participated in the study had both hepatitis C and HIV (these 2 infections frequently occur together).