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News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

La Jolla, Calif., May 16, 2017 -- New research led by Alexey Terskikh, Ph.D., associate professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), and Alex Strongin, Ph.D., professor at SBP, could be a first step toward a drug to treat Zika infections. Publishing in Antiviral Research, the scientific team discovered a compound that prevents the virus from spreading. "We identified a small molecule that inhibits the Zika virus protease, and show that it blocks viral propagation in human cells and in mice," Terskikh says. "Anti-Zika drugs are desperately needed. The fact that the compound seems to work in vivo is really promising, so we plan to use it as a starting point to make an even more potent and effective drug." The Zika virus has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization, a rare designation indicating that a coordinated global response is needed. The reason Zika is considered such a threat is that it's spreading rapidly through the Americas, including parts of the U.S., and can cause severe complications. Zika has been linked to an increase in cases of microcephaly, a birth abnormality in which the head and brain are unusually small, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rapidly developing neurological condition that causes weakness of the arms and legs and can progress to life-threatening respiratory failure. "Microcephaly is likely just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential adverse effects of maternal Zika infection," comments Terskikh. "There may be other, less obvious impacts on brain development that wouldn't be apparent until later. That's something we're also investigating." The scientific team took advantage of a library of compounds that Strongin's lab had previously shown to inhibit the same component of the related West Nile virus. They also tested structurally similar molecules available at the SBP's Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics (Prebys Center) to determine whether any also blocked the protease. The screening process identified three promising compounds, which were then tested for their ability to prevent Zika infection of human brain cells. The best one of these also reduced the amount of virus circulating in the blood of Zika-infected mice. "The inhibitor's efficacy in animals is the key to the study's significance," Terskikh adds. "This, and the fact that the compound is likely to be safe make it especially promising. The compound blocks a part of the protease that's unique to viruses, so it doesn't inhibit similar human proteases. It's also much more potent than previously identified inhibitors of the Zika protease." This future drug is just one part of the fight against Zika. An experimental vaccine is set to move into phase 2 clinical trials in June. "In addition to a Zika vaccine, we still need antivirals," explains Terskikh. "Some people may be exposed who haven't been vaccinated. Having a way to treat the infection could help stop Zika from spreading and prevent its sometimes devastating effects." This research was performed in collaboration with scientists at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology. Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (R21NS10047). Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) is an independent nonprofit medical research organization that conducts world-class, collaborative, biological research and translates its discoveries for the benefit of patients. SBP focuses its research on cancer, immunity, neurodegeneration, metabolic disorders and rare children's diseases. The Institute invests in talent, technology and partnerships to accelerate the translation of laboratory discoveries that will have the greatest impact on patients. Recognized for its world-class NCI-designated Cancer Center and the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, SBP employs about 1,100 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at SBPdiscovery.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/SBPdiscovery and on Twitter @SBPdiscovery.


News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

New research led by Alexey Terskikh, Ph.D., associate professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), and Alex Strongin, Ph.D., professor at SBP, could be a first step toward a drug to treat Zika infections. Publishing in Antiviral Research, the scientific team discovered a compound that prevents the virus from spreading. "We identified a small molecule that inhibits the Zika virus protease, and show that it blocks viral propagation in human cells and in mice," Terskikh says. "Anti-Zika drugs are desperately needed. The fact that the compound seems to work in vivo is really promising, so we plan to use it as a starting point to make an even more potent and effective drug." The Zika virus has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization, a rare designation indicating that a coordinated global response is needed. The reason Zika is considered such a threat is that it's spreading rapidly through the Americas, including parts of the U.S., and can cause severe complications. Zika has been linked to an increase in cases of microcephaly, a birth abnormality in which the head and brain are unusually small, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rapidly developing neurological condition that causes weakness of the arms and legs and can progress to life-threatening respiratory failure. "Microcephaly is likely just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential adverse effects of maternal Zika infection," comments Terskikh. "There may be other, less obvious impacts on brain development that wouldn't be apparent until later. That's something we're also investigating." The scientific team took advantage of a library of compounds that Strongin's lab had previously shown to inhibit the same component of the related West Nile virus. They also tested structurally similar molecules available at the SBP's Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics (Prebys Center) to determine whether any also blocked the protease. The screening process identified three promising compounds, which were then tested for their ability to prevent Zika infection of human brain cells. The best one of these also reduced the amount of virus circulating in the blood of Zika-infected mice. "The inhibitor's efficacy in animals is the key to the study's significance," Terskikh adds. "This, and the fact that the compound is likely to be safe make it especially promising. The compound blocks a part of the protease that's unique to viruses, so it doesn't inhibit similar human proteases. It's also much more potent than previously identified inhibitors of the Zika protease." This future drug is just one part of the fight against Zika. An experimental vaccine is set to move into phase 2 clinical trials in June. "In addition to a Zika vaccine, we still need antivirals," explains Terskikh. "Some people may be exposed who haven't been vaccinated. Having a way to treat the infection could help stop Zika from spreading and prevent its sometimes devastating effects."


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Combinations of Arbutus’ RNAi or Capsid Assets with Approved Drugs Demonstrate Complementary Activity Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer, Awarded International Society of Antiviral Research Gertrude Elion Award VANCOUVER, British Columbia and WARMINSTER, Pa., May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq:ABUS), an industry-leading Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) therapeutic solutions company, today presented results from preclinical studies of HBV drugs in three presentations at the 30th International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) held on May 21-25, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. These presentations feature preclinical data from multiple Arbutus pipeline programs that highlight the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions and demonstrate additive to synergistic activity when combining Arbutus assets with approved HBV therapies. “Systematic In Vitro Evaluation of Current and Experimental Hepatitis B Therapeutics: Potential Utility for Combinations Exploiting Multiple and Diverse Mechanisms of Action” by Andrea Cuconati, Director of Virology In preclinical studies, multiple clinical and preclinical Arbutus direct acting antiviral agents tested in combination with nucleoside/nucleotide analogues (NAs) or interferon α-2a (IFN) standard of care therapeutics resulted in either additive or synergistic effects, suppressing multiple elements of HBV including HBsAg, HBeAg and HBV DNA. The results confirm the utility of Arbutus’ agents in clinical combinations with standard of care.  Arbutus RNAi agents ARB-1467 and ARB-1740 are currently in Phase II clinical testing in chronic HBV patients and AB-423, a capsid assembly inhibitor, is in Phase I. “Activation of STING Mediates Antiviral Effects in a Mouse Model of Chronic Hepatitis B” by Emily Thi, Principal Scientist, In Vivo Pharmacology and Macro-Molecular Discovery In preclinical studies, STING activation results in control of HBV. Repeated STING activation yielded cumulative reductions in HBV DNA and HBcAg across a 7-day course of study. Type I IFN and cytokine induction may activate innate immune cells and T cell priming to potentially break HBV immune tolerance. These findings provide proof of concept that targeting STING in chronic HBV infection may contribute to viral control and complement the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus. “Viral Hepatitis – The Search for a Cure” by Dr. Mike Sofia, Chief Scientific Officer An introduction to the HBV landscape and an overview of the potential new therapies that may overcome the challenge of persistent chronic HBV infection and achieve a functional cure. These presentations can be accessed by visiting the Investor section of www.arbutusbio.com and selecting Events and Presentations. In conjunction with ICAR, Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer has been awarded the International Society of Antiviral Research (ISAR) Gertrude Elion Award for his outstanding contributions to the antiviral field through his development of a landmark hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. “It is a great honor to receive the ISAR Gertrude Elion Award for my work that led to the discovery of sofosbuvir, which is the backbone of the curative standard of care for HCV. Arbutus is following a similar pathway by developing multiple therapeutic agents to achieve a cure for chronic HBV,” said Dr. Sofia. “We are pleased to be presenting more encouraging data from our preclinical drug combination studies that support the utility of our proprietary HBV candidates in combination with the current standard of care. We continue to employ a range of HBV models to examine the potential use and mechanistic complementarity of our HBV agents in these combination regimens. Arbutus has built a robust pipeline of HBV product candidates to support this strategy.” Arbutus Biopharma Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. Arbutus is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and has facilities in Warminster, PA. For more information, visit www.arbutusbio.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and forward looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions; targeting STING in chronic HBV infection contributing to viral control and complementing the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus; nominating a 2nd generation capsid assembly development candidate this year; and discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Arbutus has made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: the effectiveness and timeliness of clinical trials, and the usefulness of the data; the continued demand for Arbutus’ assets; and the stability of economic and market conditions. While Arbutus considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, market and social uncertainties and contingencies. Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Arbutus' actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: anticipated clinical trials may be more costly or take longer to complete than anticipated, and may never be initiated or completed, or may not generate results that warrant future development of the tested drug candidate; Arbutus may not receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the clinical development of Arbutus' products; economic and market conditions may worsen; and market shifts may require a change in strategic focus. A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Arbutus appears in Arbutus' Annual Report on Form 10-K and Arbutus' continuous disclosure filings, which are available at www.sedar.com and at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements herein are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Arbutus disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Combinations of Arbutus’ RNAi or Capsid Assets with Approved Drugs Demonstrate Complementary Activity Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer, Awarded International Society of Antiviral Research Gertrude Elion Award VANCOUVER, British Columbia and WARMINSTER, Pa., May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq:ABUS), an industry-leading Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) therapeutic solutions company, today presented results from preclinical studies of HBV drugs in three presentations at the 30th International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) held on May 21-25, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. These presentations feature preclinical data from multiple Arbutus pipeline programs that highlight the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions and demonstrate additive to synergistic activity when combining Arbutus assets with approved HBV therapies. “Systematic In Vitro Evaluation of Current and Experimental Hepatitis B Therapeutics: Potential Utility for Combinations Exploiting Multiple and Diverse Mechanisms of Action” by Andrea Cuconati, Director of Virology In preclinical studies, multiple clinical and preclinical Arbutus direct acting antiviral agents tested in combination with nucleoside/nucleotide analogues (NAs) or interferon α-2a (IFN) standard of care therapeutics resulted in either additive or synergistic effects, suppressing multiple elements of HBV including HBsAg, HBeAg and HBV DNA. The results confirm the utility of Arbutus’ agents in clinical combinations with standard of care.  Arbutus RNAi agents ARB-1467 and ARB-1740 are currently in Phase II clinical testing in chronic HBV patients and AB-423, a capsid assembly inhibitor, is in Phase I. “Activation of STING Mediates Antiviral Effects in a Mouse Model of Chronic Hepatitis B” by Emily Thi, Principal Scientist, In Vivo Pharmacology and Macro-Molecular Discovery In preclinical studies, STING activation results in control of HBV. Repeated STING activation yielded cumulative reductions in HBV DNA and HBcAg across a 7-day course of study. Type I IFN and cytokine induction may activate innate immune cells and T cell priming to potentially break HBV immune tolerance. These findings provide proof of concept that targeting STING in chronic HBV infection may contribute to viral control and complement the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus. “Viral Hepatitis – The Search for a Cure” by Dr. Mike Sofia, Chief Scientific Officer An introduction to the HBV landscape and an overview of the potential new therapies that may overcome the challenge of persistent chronic HBV infection and achieve a functional cure. These presentations can be accessed by visiting the Investor section of www.arbutusbio.com and selecting Events and Presentations. In conjunction with ICAR, Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer has been awarded the International Society of Antiviral Research (ISAR) Gertrude Elion Award for his outstanding contributions to the antiviral field through his development of a landmark hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. “It is a great honor to receive the ISAR Gertrude Elion Award for my work that led to the discovery of sofosbuvir, which is the backbone of the curative standard of care for HCV. Arbutus is following a similar pathway by developing multiple therapeutic agents to achieve a cure for chronic HBV,” said Dr. Sofia. “We are pleased to be presenting more encouraging data from our preclinical drug combination studies that support the utility of our proprietary HBV candidates in combination with the current standard of care. We continue to employ a range of HBV models to examine the potential use and mechanistic complementarity of our HBV agents in these combination regimens. Arbutus has built a robust pipeline of HBV product candidates to support this strategy.” Arbutus Biopharma Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. Arbutus is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and has facilities in Warminster, PA. For more information, visit www.arbutusbio.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and forward looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions; targeting STING in chronic HBV infection contributing to viral control and complementing the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus; nominating a 2nd generation capsid assembly development candidate this year; and discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Arbutus has made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: the effectiveness and timeliness of clinical trials, and the usefulness of the data; the continued demand for Arbutus’ assets; and the stability of economic and market conditions. While Arbutus considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, market and social uncertainties and contingencies. Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Arbutus' actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: anticipated clinical trials may be more costly or take longer to complete than anticipated, and may never be initiated or completed, or may not generate results that warrant future development of the tested drug candidate; Arbutus may not receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the clinical development of Arbutus' products; economic and market conditions may worsen; and market shifts may require a change in strategic focus. A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Arbutus appears in Arbutus' Annual Report on Form 10-K and Arbutus' continuous disclosure filings, which are available at www.sedar.com and at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements herein are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Arbutus disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Combinations of Arbutus’ RNAi or Capsid Assets with Approved Drugs Demonstrate Complementary Activity Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer, Awarded International Society of Antiviral Research Gertrude Elion Award VANCOUVER, British Columbia and WARMINSTER, Pa., May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq:ABUS), an industry-leading Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) therapeutic solutions company, today presented results from preclinical studies of HBV drugs in three presentations at the 30th International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) held on May 21-25, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. These presentations feature preclinical data from multiple Arbutus pipeline programs that highlight the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions and demonstrate additive to synergistic activity when combining Arbutus assets with approved HBV therapies. “Systematic In Vitro Evaluation of Current and Experimental Hepatitis B Therapeutics: Potential Utility for Combinations Exploiting Multiple and Diverse Mechanisms of Action” by Andrea Cuconati, Director of Virology In preclinical studies, multiple clinical and preclinical Arbutus direct acting antiviral agents tested in combination with nucleoside/nucleotide analogues (NAs) or interferon α-2a (IFN) standard of care therapeutics resulted in either additive or synergistic effects, suppressing multiple elements of HBV including HBsAg, HBeAg and HBV DNA. The results confirm the utility of Arbutus’ agents in clinical combinations with standard of care.  Arbutus RNAi agents ARB-1467 and ARB-1740 are currently in Phase II clinical testing in chronic HBV patients and AB-423, a capsid assembly inhibitor, is in Phase I. “Activation of STING Mediates Antiviral Effects in a Mouse Model of Chronic Hepatitis B” by Emily Thi, Principal Scientist, In Vivo Pharmacology and Macro-Molecular Discovery In preclinical studies, STING activation results in control of HBV. Repeated STING activation yielded cumulative reductions in HBV DNA and HBcAg across a 7-day course of study. Type I IFN and cytokine induction may activate innate immune cells and T cell priming to potentially break HBV immune tolerance. These findings provide proof of concept that targeting STING in chronic HBV infection may contribute to viral control and complement the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus. “Viral Hepatitis – The Search for a Cure” by Dr. Mike Sofia, Chief Scientific Officer An introduction to the HBV landscape and an overview of the potential new therapies that may overcome the challenge of persistent chronic HBV infection and achieve a functional cure. These presentations can be accessed by visiting the Investor section of www.arbutusbio.com and selecting Events and Presentations. In conjunction with ICAR, Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer has been awarded the International Society of Antiviral Research (ISAR) Gertrude Elion Award for his outstanding contributions to the antiviral field through his development of a landmark hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. “It is a great honor to receive the ISAR Gertrude Elion Award for my work that led to the discovery of sofosbuvir, which is the backbone of the curative standard of care for HCV. Arbutus is following a similar pathway by developing multiple therapeutic agents to achieve a cure for chronic HBV,” said Dr. Sofia. “We are pleased to be presenting more encouraging data from our preclinical drug combination studies that support the utility of our proprietary HBV candidates in combination with the current standard of care. We continue to employ a range of HBV models to examine the potential use and mechanistic complementarity of our HBV agents in these combination regimens. Arbutus has built a robust pipeline of HBV product candidates to support this strategy.” Arbutus Biopharma Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. Arbutus is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and has facilities in Warminster, PA. For more information, visit www.arbutusbio.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and forward looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions; targeting STING in chronic HBV infection contributing to viral control and complementing the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus; nominating a 2nd generation capsid assembly development candidate this year; and discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Arbutus has made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: the effectiveness and timeliness of clinical trials, and the usefulness of the data; the continued demand for Arbutus’ assets; and the stability of economic and market conditions. While Arbutus considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, market and social uncertainties and contingencies. Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Arbutus' actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: anticipated clinical trials may be more costly or take longer to complete than anticipated, and may never be initiated or completed, or may not generate results that warrant future development of the tested drug candidate; Arbutus may not receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the clinical development of Arbutus' products; economic and market conditions may worsen; and market shifts may require a change in strategic focus. A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Arbutus appears in Arbutus' Annual Report on Form 10-K and Arbutus' continuous disclosure filings, which are available at www.sedar.com and at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements herein are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Arbutus disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Combinations of Arbutus’ RNAi or Capsid Assets with Approved Drugs Demonstrate Complementary Activity Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer, Awarded International Society of Antiviral Research Gertrude Elion Award VANCOUVER, British Columbia and WARMINSTER, Pa., May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq:ABUS), an industry-leading Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) therapeutic solutions company, today presented results from preclinical studies of HBV drugs in three presentations at the 30th International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) held on May 21-25, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. These presentations feature preclinical data from multiple Arbutus pipeline programs that highlight the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions and demonstrate additive to synergistic activity when combining Arbutus assets with approved HBV therapies. “Systematic In Vitro Evaluation of Current and Experimental Hepatitis B Therapeutics: Potential Utility for Combinations Exploiting Multiple and Diverse Mechanisms of Action” by Andrea Cuconati, Director of Virology In preclinical studies, multiple clinical and preclinical Arbutus direct acting antiviral agents tested in combination with nucleoside/nucleotide analogues (NAs) or interferon α-2a (IFN) standard of care therapeutics resulted in either additive or synergistic effects, suppressing multiple elements of HBV including HBsAg, HBeAg and HBV DNA. The results confirm the utility of Arbutus’ agents in clinical combinations with standard of care.  Arbutus RNAi agents ARB-1467 and ARB-1740 are currently in Phase II clinical testing in chronic HBV patients and AB-423, a capsid assembly inhibitor, is in Phase I. “Activation of STING Mediates Antiviral Effects in a Mouse Model of Chronic Hepatitis B” by Emily Thi, Principal Scientist, In Vivo Pharmacology and Macro-Molecular Discovery In preclinical studies, STING activation results in control of HBV. Repeated STING activation yielded cumulative reductions in HBV DNA and HBcAg across a 7-day course of study. Type I IFN and cytokine induction may activate innate immune cells and T cell priming to potentially break HBV immune tolerance. These findings provide proof of concept that targeting STING in chronic HBV infection may contribute to viral control and complement the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus. “Viral Hepatitis – The Search for a Cure” by Dr. Mike Sofia, Chief Scientific Officer An introduction to the HBV landscape and an overview of the potential new therapies that may overcome the challenge of persistent chronic HBV infection and achieve a functional cure. These presentations can be accessed by visiting the Investor section of www.arbutusbio.com and selecting Events and Presentations. In conjunction with ICAR, Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer has been awarded the International Society of Antiviral Research (ISAR) Gertrude Elion Award for his outstanding contributions to the antiviral field through his development of a landmark hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. “It is a great honor to receive the ISAR Gertrude Elion Award for my work that led to the discovery of sofosbuvir, which is the backbone of the curative standard of care for HCV. Arbutus is following a similar pathway by developing multiple therapeutic agents to achieve a cure for chronic HBV,” said Dr. Sofia. “We are pleased to be presenting more encouraging data from our preclinical drug combination studies that support the utility of our proprietary HBV candidates in combination with the current standard of care. We continue to employ a range of HBV models to examine the potential use and mechanistic complementarity of our HBV agents in these combination regimens. Arbutus has built a robust pipeline of HBV product candidates to support this strategy.” Arbutus Biopharma Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. Arbutus is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and has facilities in Warminster, PA. For more information, visit www.arbutusbio.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and forward looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions; targeting STING in chronic HBV infection contributing to viral control and complementing the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus; nominating a 2nd generation capsid assembly development candidate this year; and discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Arbutus has made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: the effectiveness and timeliness of clinical trials, and the usefulness of the data; the continued demand for Arbutus’ assets; and the stability of economic and market conditions. While Arbutus considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, market and social uncertainties and contingencies. Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Arbutus' actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: anticipated clinical trials may be more costly or take longer to complete than anticipated, and may never be initiated or completed, or may not generate results that warrant future development of the tested drug candidate; Arbutus may not receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the clinical development of Arbutus' products; economic and market conditions may worsen; and market shifts may require a change in strategic focus. A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Arbutus appears in Arbutus' Annual Report on Form 10-K and Arbutus' continuous disclosure filings, which are available at www.sedar.com and at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements herein are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Arbutus disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Combinations of Arbutus’ RNAi or Capsid Assets with Approved Drugs Demonstrate Complementary Activity Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer, Awarded International Society of Antiviral Research Gertrude Elion Award VANCOUVER, British Columbia and WARMINSTER, Pa., May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq:ABUS), an industry-leading Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) therapeutic solutions company, today presented results from preclinical studies of HBV drugs in three presentations at the 30th International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) held on May 21-25, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. These presentations feature preclinical data from multiple Arbutus pipeline programs that highlight the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions and demonstrate additive to synergistic activity when combining Arbutus assets with approved HBV therapies. “Systematic In Vitro Evaluation of Current and Experimental Hepatitis B Therapeutics: Potential Utility for Combinations Exploiting Multiple and Diverse Mechanisms of Action” by Andrea Cuconati, Director of Virology In preclinical studies, multiple clinical and preclinical Arbutus direct acting antiviral agents tested in combination with nucleoside/nucleotide analogues (NAs) or interferon α-2a (IFN) standard of care therapeutics resulted in either additive or synergistic effects, suppressing multiple elements of HBV including HBsAg, HBeAg and HBV DNA. The results confirm the utility of Arbutus’ agents in clinical combinations with standard of care.  Arbutus RNAi agents ARB-1467 and ARB-1740 are currently in Phase II clinical testing in chronic HBV patients and AB-423, a capsid assembly inhibitor, is in Phase I. “Activation of STING Mediates Antiviral Effects in a Mouse Model of Chronic Hepatitis B” by Emily Thi, Principal Scientist, In Vivo Pharmacology and Macro-Molecular Discovery In preclinical studies, STING activation results in control of HBV. Repeated STING activation yielded cumulative reductions in HBV DNA and HBcAg across a 7-day course of study. Type I IFN and cytokine induction may activate innate immune cells and T cell priming to potentially break HBV immune tolerance. These findings provide proof of concept that targeting STING in chronic HBV infection may contribute to viral control and complement the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus. “Viral Hepatitis – The Search for a Cure” by Dr. Mike Sofia, Chief Scientific Officer An introduction to the HBV landscape and an overview of the potential new therapies that may overcome the challenge of persistent chronic HBV infection and achieve a functional cure. These presentations can be accessed by visiting the Investor section of www.arbutusbio.com and selecting Events and Presentations. In conjunction with ICAR, Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus’ Chief Scientific Officer has been awarded the International Society of Antiviral Research (ISAR) Gertrude Elion Award for his outstanding contributions to the antiviral field through his development of a landmark hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. “It is a great honor to receive the ISAR Gertrude Elion Award for my work that led to the discovery of sofosbuvir, which is the backbone of the curative standard of care for HCV. Arbutus is following a similar pathway by developing multiple therapeutic agents to achieve a cure for chronic HBV,” said Dr. Sofia. “We are pleased to be presenting more encouraging data from our preclinical drug combination studies that support the utility of our proprietary HBV candidates in combination with the current standard of care. We continue to employ a range of HBV models to examine the potential use and mechanistic complementarity of our HBV agents in these combination regimens. Arbutus has built a robust pipeline of HBV product candidates to support this strategy.” Arbutus Biopharma Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. Arbutus is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and has facilities in Warminster, PA. For more information, visit www.arbutusbio.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and forward looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about the potential of Arbutus' therapeutic candidates to impair HBV viral functions; targeting STING in chronic HBV infection contributing to viral control and complementing the immune modulatory programs underway at Arbutus; nominating a 2nd generation capsid assembly development candidate this year; and discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Arbutus has made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: the effectiveness and timeliness of clinical trials, and the usefulness of the data; the continued demand for Arbutus’ assets; and the stability of economic and market conditions. While Arbutus considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, market and social uncertainties and contingencies. Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Arbutus' actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: anticipated clinical trials may be more costly or take longer to complete than anticipated, and may never be initiated or completed, or may not generate results that warrant future development of the tested drug candidate; Arbutus may not receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the clinical development of Arbutus' products; economic and market conditions may worsen; and market shifts may require a change in strategic focus. A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Arbutus appears in Arbutus' Annual Report on Form 10-K and Arbutus' continuous disclosure filings, which are available at www.sedar.com and at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements herein are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Arbutus disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.


Su D.-S.,Merck And Co. | Su D.-S.,Glaxosmithkline | Lim J.J.,Merck And Co. | Tinney E.,Merck And Co. | And 23 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2010

Biaryl ethers were recently reported as potent NNRTIs. Herein, we disclose a detailed effort to modify the previously reported compound 1. We have designed and synthesized a series of novel pyrazole derivatives as a surrogate for pyrazolopyridine motif that were potent inhibitors of HIV-1 RT with nanomolar intrinsic activity on the WT and key mutant enzymes and potent antiviral activity in infected cells. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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