DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Nov. 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OnCore Biopharma, Inc. ("OnCore" or the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of oral treatments for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, announced today it has entered into a Hepatitis B Virus ("HBV") and liver cancer research collaboration with the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute ("Blumberg"), which is the research center of the Hepatitis B Foundation located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Under the terms of the agreement, OnCore and Blumberg will work collaboratively on projects, based on an overarching research plan, in the HBV and liver cancer fields with funding for projects provided by OnCore. Projects can include identification of new HBV targets, identification and development of new therapeutic compound series, new assay development and other technologies for hepatitis B and liver cancer. In consideration for funding these efforts, Blumberg has granted OnCore the right to obtain royalty-bearing worldwide licenses to Blumberg's rights for inventions made during the term of the agreement. The Company also has the option to increase its funding level to capture additional projects that may fall outside the initial scope of the agreement. The initial agreement is for three years and is renewable at OnCore's option for an additional three years at the same funding level.
"We are excited to be working with OnCore to further our mission of finding a cure for and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide," said Dr. Timothy Block, President of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. "We have great confidence in the OnCore team, and are aligned with their strategy to deliver an all-oral cure for hepatitis B."
"We are thrilled to establish this research collaboration with the Blumberg Institute, one of the largest repositories of HBV research in the world," stated OnCore's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Michael Sofia. "We believe that continuing to invest in novel therapeutic agents, assays and approaches is critical. Blumberg's research is world-class and an exclusive relationship will help further our shared goal of delivering a curative regimen for hepatitis B patients and add to our growing platform of HBV therapeutics."
About Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a serious infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is considered a major global health problem. Hepatitis B infection can cause chronic liver disease, which increases a patient's risk of death from liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that up to 350 million people globally may be chronically infected with hepatitis B and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 780,000 people die every year due to hepatitis B. Most currently-available therapies aim to suppress this viral infection but do not lead to a cure in the overwhelming majority of patients.
We are a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing an all-oral cure for patients suffering from chronic hepatitis B infection, a disease of the liver caused by hepatitis B virus, or HBV. Our founding management team has significant experience developing and commercializing drug candidates targeting infectious liver diseases, including HCV. Leveraging this experience, we are developing a portfolio of drug candidates with multiple mechanisms of action that we believe will ultimately result in a combination therapy to cure hepatitis B. Specifically, we seek to effect a cure by aggressively suppressing HBV replication within liver cells, stimulating and reactivating the body's immune system so that it can mount an effective defense against the virus and, most importantly, eliminating the reservoir of viral genomic material known as covalently closed circular DNA, or cccDNA, that is the source of HBV persistence.
OnCore is located at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which is also home to the Hepatitis B Foundation and the Foundation's research center, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute.
About the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute
The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, formerly the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, is the nation's leading nonprofit research organization dedicated to hepatitis B and liver cancer. The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute was established in 2003 by the Hepatitis B Foundation to fulfill its research mission of finding a cure for hepatitis B in our lifetime and to conduct discovery research and nurture translational biotechnology in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus. To learn more, please visit www.blumberginstitute.org.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation
Headquartered in Doylestown, Pa., the Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, please visit www.hepb.org.
CONTACT: Patrick T. Higgins, CEO firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:OnCore Biopharma, Inc.