£6.3m HRV contract signed with biotechnology clientJanuary 2, 2024
hVIVO has signed a £6.3m contract with a biotechnology client to test its antiviral candidate using the hVIVO Human Rhinovirus (HRV – common cold virus) Human Challenge Study Model.
The Phase 2a randomised, double-blinded placebo-controlled human challenge trial is planned to take place at the Company’s new specialist state-of-the-art quarantine facilities in Canary Wharf. It will evaluate the effect of the antiviral candidate on viral load, safety, tolerability, and prophylactic antiviral activity against HRV infection in multiple cohorts of healthy volunteers.
The study is expected to commence in H2 2024, with revenue recognised in 2024 and 2025. As part of the study, hVIVO will recruit healthy volunteers via the Company’s dedicated volunteer recruitment arm, FluCamp. This biotechnology client recognises the benefit of human challenge in quickly generating early human efficacy data, which has the potential of significantly enhancing the value of their clinical asset.
Human rhinoviruses (HRV) are a group of pathogens that cause ‘the common cold’, with over 150 distinct types of HRV currently known. Although one third of HRV infections are asymptomatic, it can be potentially serious in the elderly, immunocompromised and those with existing respiratory diseases, and there is strong evidence of a relationship between HRV infection and more severe symptoms of asthma and COPD.1 To date, no antiviral has been approved in the prevention or treatment of HRV infection.
Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer of hVIVO, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with this biotech client to investigate the use of their antiviral candidate against HRV. Our human challenge trials can provide quick efficacy data, that has the potential to significantly enhance the value of our clients’ assets, something which is critical in the current tight biotech investment landscape. There is renewed focus and capital available to biopharma companies with assets targeting respiratory disease indications. Our HRV Human Challenge Model offers our clients the opportunity to open up these markets, given HRV’s association to exacerbation of asthma and COPD.”
Dr Andrew Catchpole, Chief Scientific Officer of hVIVO, said: “With our new state-of-the-art facility, we are able to conduct significantly more multi-cohort challenge trials concurrently, providing quick efficacy data to accelerate drug development. There remains no approved antiviral to treat HRV infections, despite their dangerous impact on large and vulnerable population groups. I look forward to following the progress of this antiviral candidate when it enters the clinic later this year.”