CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:IDIX), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases, today announced a non-exclusive collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for the clinical development of all-oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) HCV combination therapies. The collaboration will evaluate combinations including IDX719, Idenix's once-daily pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor, simeprevir (TMC435), a once-daily protease inhibitor jointly developed by Janssen and Medivir AB, and TMC647055, a once-daily non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor, boosted with low dose ritonavir, being developed by Janssen.
Clinical development plans include an initial drug-drug interaction study to begin in the first quarter of 2013, followed by phase II studies as agreed between the companies, and pending approval from regulatory authorities. The phase II program is expected to first evaluate the two-DAA combination of IDX719 and simeprevir plus ribavirin for 12 weeks in treatment-naïve HCV-infected patients. Subsequently, the companies plan to evaluate a three-DAA combination of IDX719, simeprevir and TMC647055/r, with and without ribavirin. The clinical trials will be conducted by Idenix. Both companies retain all rights to their respective compounds under this agreement.
"We are very pleased to be working with Janssen and look forward to initiating a phase II study in the first quarter of this year," said Ron Renaud, Idenix's President and Chief Executive Officer. "This will allow us to achieve a key goal of ours for 2013, which is to advance the development of IDX719 as part of all-oral HCV combinations in two- and three-drug regimens."
IDX719 is an NS5A inhibitor with low picomolar, pan-genotypic antiviral activity in vitro. To date, IDX719 has been safe and well tolerated after single and multiple doses of up to 100 mg in healthy volunteers (n=36; up to 7 days duration) and HCV-infected patients (n=69; up to 3 days duration). There have been no treatment-emergent serious adverse events reported in the program. IDX719 has demonstrated potent pan-genotypic antiviral activity in HCV-infected patients with mean maximal viral load reductions up to approximately 4.0 log10 IU/mL across HCV genotypes 1-4 in a proof-of-concept, three-day monotherapy study.
ABOUT SIMEPREVIR (TMC435)
Simeprevir is a once-daily potent investigational hepatitis C protease inhibitor in late Phase 3 clinical development being jointly developed by Janssen R&D Ireland and Medivir AB to treat chronic hepatitis C virus infections. Simeprevir is being investigated in combination with PegIFN/RBV in Phase 3 trials and is also being evaluated with Direct-acting Antiviral (DAA) agents in three other Phase 2 interferon-free combinations both with and without ribavirin (RBV). For further details please visit http://www.medivir.com.
TMC647055 is a potent non-nucleoside hepatitis C polymerase inhibitor with broad genotypic coverage. TMC647055 is in Phase 2 clinical development and is developed by Janssen R&D Ireland to treat chronic hepatitis C virus infections. TMC647055 is being investigated in combination with other DAA agents in all oral interferon-free regimens. There have been no treatment-emergent serious adverse events reported in the program.
ABOUT HEPATITIS C
Hepatitis C virus is a common blood-borne pathogen infecting three to four million people worldwide annually. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with HCV, representing a nearly 5-fold greater prevalence than human immunodeficiency virus.
Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a biopharmaceutical Company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases. Idenix's current focus is on the treatment of patients with hepatitis C infection. For further information about Idenix, please refer to www.idenix.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to the statements regarding the Company's future business and financial performance. For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words "expect," "plans," "will," and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking statements, as are expressed or implied statements with respect to the Company's potential pipeline candidates, including any expressed or implied statements regarding the efficacy and safety of IDX719 and the likelihood and success of any future clinical trials involving IDX719. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the following: there can be no guarantees that the Company will advance any clinical product candidate or other component of its potential pipeline to the clinic, to the regulatory process or to commercialization; management's expectations could be affected by unexpected regulatory actions or delays; uncertainties relating to, or unsuccessful results of, clinical trials, including additional data relating to clinical trials evaluating its product candidates; the Company's ability to obtain additional funding required to conduct its research, development and commercialization activities; competition in general; and the Company's ability to obtain, maintain and enforce patent and other intellectual property protection for its product candidates and its discoveries. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. These and other risks which may impact management's expectations are described in greater detail under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and the quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, each as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in any subsequent periodic or current report that the Company files with the SEC.
All forward-looking statements reflect the Company's estimates only as of the date of this release (unless another date is indicated) and should not be relied upon as reflecting the Company's views, expectations or beliefs at any date subsequent to the date of this release. While Idenix may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so, even if the Company's estimates change.
CONTACT: Idenix Pharmaceuticals Contacts: Kelly Barry (617) 995-9033 (media) Teri Dahlman (617) 995-9807 (investors)Source:Idenix Pharmaceuticals