Microbiotix in pharma partnering agreement with Merck, a big pharma company.
As part of this pharma partnering agreement, Microbiotix gains worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize MBX-700 and MBX-701 (formerly SCH 900942 and SCH 900188).
They are two non-nucleoside inhibitors of the hepatitis C virus NS5B polymerase.
MBX-700 is in Phase I clinical testing and MBX-701 is currently in preclinical development.
Merck is eligible for milestone payments during development stages of the candidates, and for royalty payments from any resulting products through this partnership.
Specific terms of the pharma partnering agreement were not disclosed.
MBX-700 and MBX-701 are designed to inhibit the replication of the hepatitis C virus by acting on the NS5B polymerase, a clinically validated target that is essential for viral genome replication.
In vitro studies have shown MBX-700 to be among the most potent HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitors.
Hepatitis C, which primarily affects the liver, is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis C virus .
HCV infection becomes chronic in 75%-85% of cases and, if left untreated, can lead to chronic liver disease, liver cancer or death.
It is estimated that 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus.
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