Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ:ABUS) has reported its Q3 2020 financial results and also provided a business update.
Arbutus evaluating AB-729 in HBV
The company’s CEO and President William Collier said that the Arbutus’ focus is the development and discovery of a functional treatment with predetermined treatment duration for chronic HBV. Arbutus is doing this through the development of a combination of agents with different action mechanisms targeting distinct parts of the HBV lifecycle. Collier said that the company has continued to make progress in its on-going Phase1a/1b clinical of subcutaneous delivered RNAi agent, AB-729. Currently, the company is dosing chronic HBV subjects in four multi-dose cohorts with 60 mg dose after every four and eight weeks and 90 mg dose after every eight and twelve weeks.
Collier confirmed that based on the clinical results generated, AB-729 had shown significant HBsAg reduction with favourable tolerability and safety profile. He added that the company is looking forward to providing more results from the Phase 1a/1b clinical study at the AASLD conference. The company is expecting results from the 60 mg multi-dose cohort and 90 mg single dose cohort in HBV DNA positive participants in Q4 2020.
More results on drug development expected in Q4
At the beginning of this year, the company picked AB-836 as its next-gen oral capsid inhibitor. Notably, AB-836 is driven from differentiated proprietary chemical compounds series with the potential of enhanced resistance profile. The company expects completion of CTA/IND-enabling trials at the end of this year. The drug discovery efforts of the company focus on follow-on compounds for the HBV pipeline, including the development of oral HBV RNA destabilizers.
In August, Arbutus and Assembly Biosciences Inc. signed a clinical collaboration agreement. The agreement is for the evaluation or Arbutus’ AB-729 candidate in combination with Assembly’s HBV capsid/core inhibitor candidate vebicorvir (VBR) and standard of care nucleotides reverse transcriptase inhibitor (Nrtl) therapy in chronic HBV patients. The company will initiate a clinical trial to explore safety, antiviral activity and pharmacokinetics of AB-729 combination with VBR and Nrtl.