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Chromis Successfully Secures Seed Funding From Torrey Pines Investment

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/25/16 -- Chromis Therapeutics Inc., an antiviral drug discovery company, focused on the development of novel curative treatments for chronic HBV infection, announced that it has completed the initial round of $3M seed financing led by Torrey Pines Investment. The funding will advance Chromis' innovative platform of antiviral drugs, including cccDNA inhibitors, entry inhibitors and capsid assembly inhibitors, for the treatment of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV).

"With estimated 400 million people suffering from chronic HBV infection, which is a leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality worldwide, chronic Hepatitis B is a serious global problem," said Jennifer Giottonini-Cayer, a Director of the Board at Chromis Therapeutics. "We are grateful to have the support of investors who share our desire to eradicate HBV and can help advance our novel drug candidates to the clinic."

"Current available antiviral options suppress viral replication and improve patient survival but they do not eradicate the virus," said Nikolay Savchuk, a Managing Partner at Torrey Pines Investment. "This is why Chromis' antiviral drugs have such a significant potential, they aim at not only treating, but eradicating the HBV virus."

Chromis' antiviral drugs have a novel target -- HBV cccDNA (covalently closed circular DNA). HBV cccDNA formation and recycling are central to establishing and maintaining persistent infection, limiting efficacy of current antiviral treatments, as those drugs do not directly target cccDNA. Chromis' leading HBV program is using its proprietary in vitro HBV core assembly model, superior to those currently used by others, to discover and develop small molecules that reduce or eliminate HBV cccDNA from the nuclei of infected liver cells and block the mechanisms of their re-infection. The secured funding will be crucial in allowing these novel drugs to proceed to clinical trials.

About Chromis Therapeutics, Inc. Chromis Therapeutics is a San Diego based biopharmaceutical company, focused on the development of novel curative treatments for chronic HBV infection. Chromis uses its cutting-edge proprietary drug design and discovery platform to advance multiple drug candidates to the clinic.

About Torrey Pines Investment, Inc. Founded in 2002, Torrey Pines Investment is a specialty life-science investment company located in San Diego. Torrey Pines is investing in early and development stage assets from international pharma and biotech partners in CNS, oncology, and virology area to bring them to commercial success through pharma partnering and M&A. Torrey Pines's bottom line is to help its portfolio companies achieve growth, build value and realize wealth


6 Responses
Avatar universal
It is surprising where all these companies have been all the years. It has been more than three decades since a vaccine was developed against hbv; while still we are talking about treatments that only control the infection, and not rid the virus from the liver completely.
Avatar universal
Why we always hear these news but then we never hear about ithese companies after?
Avatar universal
I have had the same thought as you when I have read every few weeks that another company starts to work on hbv cure. Hcv was easier to cure from the beginning so it's faster to get return of invested money. Now hcv market is crowded so they've moved to hbv one.
Avatar universal
I don't think hcv was easier to cure, because researchers have taken many decades to develop a cure for certain genotypes, like genotype 1. But relatively to hbv, may be it was a bit easier with hcv. I think the greatest problem with hbv is because the virus incorporates itself in host cells' dna in the form of cccDNA which is hard to target so far. Also the fact that there is no vaccine against hcv was, may be, one of the reasons that led the companies to focus on a curative treatment. Anyway, it is very promising now that the companies have shifted their focus towards hbv; so let's hope in the near future we would have a drug that could dislodge the cccDNA.
Let's also hope that any drugs that could be produced would be affordable to the general public, because the new hcv drugs are prohibitively expensive.
Avatar universal
Don't forget about hiv research which is huge if compare to hbv or hcv funds, Solvadi for hcv was first designed to cure hiv but it failed then they've modified it and tried on hcv where it succeed. So cure may came from that direction.
Avatar universal
Also tdf was designed for hiv, and it turned for hbv, so many funds for hiv and fortunately it turned for us
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