MVT Biotechnology Therapeutic primary target:
- a therapeutic for the management and treatment of HEV infection
MVT Biotechnology will pursue a strategy of developing a biological therapeutic candidate for the treatment of HEV.
Treatment of HEV is generally palliative and supportive; there is no specific antiviral therapy licensed for treatment of HEV infection. In the cases of life-threatening infection, for instance in transplant patients or other immunocompromised patients (for instance leukaemia patients with perturbed immunological function) treatment has been attempted with ribavirin, a drug that whilst nucleoside-like in structure, works by lowering the intracellular GTP pools, thereby reducing the rate of viral replication. Treatment of HEV infection with ribavirin is off-label, is generally experimental and represents a last-ditch attempt by the physician to provide some antiviral therapy in response to a life-threatening infection.
The further development and differentiation of ribavirin (and its derivatives) has stopped due to the forthcoming patent expiry of ribavirin, therefore the likelihood of a major pharma company investing in specific indication-led development of ribavirin remains remote. The market is clearly open for a specific antiviral treatment for infection of high-risk groups with HEV.
Given the worldwide rising infection rate with hepatitis E, the increasing awareness of the public health challenges, the paucity of treatments, therapies and prophylactics for HEV, MVT Biotechnology is well placed to exploit major business opportunity in delivering much needed and lucrative therapies and vaccines.