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Who is working on a "cure"

Is there anyone credible that's working on a cure? (i.e. attacking the root of the problem at the cccDNA?)
Some of the drugs I was following are now discontinued but I'm not sure if it was the science or a finance problem.

(e.g. Hi-8 HBV)
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Avatar universal
A cure, meaning HBsAg -> (-), or DNA UND?
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Avatar universal
A cure should do both because it would attack the HBV cccDNA right? The current anti-virals inhibit replication but leave the cccDNA untouched. Hi-8 HBV and some other theraputic candidates would target the cccDNA, which should killoff the virus since there's no where else to hide...

"A central feature of HBV is its capacity to archive its entire genome in the form of covalent closed circular (ccc) DNA within the nuclei of infected cells. This makes the virus essentially incurable at the present time. (Reservoirs of cccDNA may slowly dwindle with successful suppressive treatment but are not directly targeted by presently available drugs.)" Ira M. Jacobson
The question is... is anyone working on it? The Hi-8 company was liquidated and Hi-8 HBV seems discontinued by the acquirer (through Hi-8 Melanoma is continuing). Virexx got sold and the acquirer notes that HepVaxx is being "enhanced" before going into Phase I in 2011...

Anyone have more information?
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Avatar universal
my knowledge is only hepavaxx by virexx is th eonly one that targets the S antigen .
it is also a Hep B vaccine but "would" also target those with chornic hep B.

also i think they started phase one in August of 2006. no idea what is going on with them and where they are with their trials. these things might take many many years so i wouldnt count on it.
Virexx is a small canadian company with very very low cap so they dont have the money to invenst into gonig on with their research. if they cant attract any of the big pharma fish then i dont think this trial with hepavaxx is gonig anywhere.. best chance for a cure is if a big bio company such as pfizer, eli lilly, bristol myers, merck etc... decides to cough up some serious money into such reasearch

with the state of this econmy worldwide, i doubt anyone would be willing to spend such amount of money on something with uncertain results.


for more reading on hepavaxx here is a copy of paste from virexx




EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 9, 2006) - ViRexx Medical Corp. (TSX:VIR) (AMEX:REX) a company focused on immunotherapy treatments for certain cancers, chronic hepatitis B & C and embolotherapy treatments for tumors, announced today that enrolment and treatment has been completed in the Phase I trial for HepaVaxx B Vaccine, the lead candidate from ViRexx's novel ChimigenTM vaccine platform. The trial has enrolled and vaccinated its target of 15 healthy volunteers with a subcutaneous injection of HepaVaxx B Vaccine. There were no significant adverse events associated with the treatment.

"Establishing a strong safety profile for this novel therapeutic vaccine is critical to the advancement of our ChimigenTM platform. We intend to continue to monitor volunteers in order to complete the safety assessment for this study." commented Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of ViRexx Medical Corp. "Existing hepatitis B antiviral therapies are effective in only approximately 20 to 30 percent of chronic carriers. The therapeutic potential of HepaVaxx B Vaccine, used alone or in combination with existing anti-viral therapies could have an enormous impact for these chronic carriers."

HepaVaxx B

HepaVaxx B Vaccine consists of a recombinant chimeric molecule containing a hepatitis B viral antigen and a portion of a murine monoclonal antibody. The molecule is designed to target dendritic cells, which play a significant role in antigen presentation and initiation of an immune response. In preclinical testing, HepaVaxx B Vaccine has produced both cellular and humoral immune responses. ViRexx believes that the development of humoral and cellular responses may be effective in clearing the virus from patients with chronic hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a serious public health problem worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that one out of every three people globally has been infected with the hepatitis B virus. Individuals that develop chronic infections are at increased risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure and liver cancer. On average, 15% to 25% of chronically infected persons die from chronic liver disease, with approximately 1.2 million hepatitis B virus-related deaths worldwide occurring each year.

About ViRexx Medical Corp.

ViRexx is an Edmonton, Alberta based biotechnology company focused on the development of novel therapeutic products for the treatment of certain cancers and specified chronic viral infections. ViRexx's most advanced programs include drug candidates for the treatment of ovarian cancer, chronic hepatitis B, and solid tumors.

ViRexx's lead product candidate, OvaRex® MAb, a therapy for the treatment of late-stage ovarian cancer, is currently the subject of two phase III clinical trials being funded by ViRexx's licensing partner Unither Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation. For additional information about ViRexx, please see www.virexx.com.

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect the current views and/or expectations of the Company with respect to its performance, business and future events. Such statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results and events may vary significantly.

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Avatar universal
Yah Virexx got sold in Dec and the acquirer notes that HepVaxx is being "enhanced" before going into Phase I in 2010 (sorry not 2011 as I previously posted)...

"Paladin Labs has said that it will continue to develop the next generation Chimigen hepatitis B vaccine towards completion of a Phase I trial in 2010."
http://investment.pharmaceutical-business-review.com/news/paladin_labs_acquires_virexx_medical_291208
Not sure how hepb.org obtains their listings but many are out of date so there's probably others out there.
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Avatar universal
I do hope this is more effective than the Hi-8 HBV therapeutic vaccine... The results for Hi-8 weren't too great (maybe why they discontinued); albeit it was only Phase 2.

"By 52 weeks, HBeAg clearance in 24% (5/21) and HBeAg seroconversion in 19% (4/21) of patients receiving the Hi-8™ HBV therapeutic vaccine alone was seen."
http://www.mvmlifescience.com/upload/news/downloads/Oxxon%2028.04.06.pdf


My bet was on NUC B1000. But then they were bankrupt and the acquiring company is not pursuing it at this time... Plus there's allegation of research misconduct. BUT the iRNA apporach was unique and tailored towards cccDNA. Hopefully Alnylam continues B1000 HBV development at some point...
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Avatar universal
Too sad a potentially optimistic cure was not pursued.

There is another approach to cure: adjust the body status of the patient so that gradually the environment is less and less fitting for the survival of the virus in the body eventually clearing it, and this approach does not depend on the big pharmaceuticals but on you the patient.
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Avatar universal
Hi Cajim...how do you do that. Adjust the body to the state of clearing the virus by itself?
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Avatar universal
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181575 tn?1250198786
"I'm not sure if it was the science or a finance problem."

It's both.  There is little financial incentive to find a cure so don't put your hopes here.  Disease management is the way to go at this point.
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Avatar universal
Anyone have an estimate of what it would cost to develop a HBV cure?
Is it $100 million, $500 million, $5B?
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Avatar universal
Any estimate how much profit would be lost for certain businesses if a cure is developed so that HBVers do not have to continuously buy drugs to control replications?  --A question asked more than a few times in the Chinese hbv site.
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Avatar universal
~$500 million in annual sales
http://www.pharmafocus.com/cda/focusH/1,2109,21-0-0-JUN_2005-focus_news_detail-0-349844,00.html

But we'll leave the conversation on lost profits out because any firm that developes a cure would literally get 100% market share. So if you spent $300 million on a drug it would be guaranteed to be profitable.
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Avatar universal
The meaning behind the "profit" question is really the suspicion that pharmaceutical companies don't really want to find the "cure", just the "control" so that there is a continual market.  If true, it would be so cruel, so inhuman.
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