Ligand Pharmaceuticals has reported positive preclinical study data on its HepDirect liver-targeted antiviral, LG-7501, for the treatment of hepatitis C.
The study data revealed that LG-7501 effectively targeted the liver while reducing systemic distribution in preclinical models, providing proof-of-concept with a clinically validated hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment.
Research highlights that LG-7501 has good oral bioavailability in two species, rapidly metabolised to the active drug and converts to the active drug in the liver, resulting in amplified liver concentrations of the active drug while reducing systemic distribution.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals CEO Matthew Foehr said the HepDirect liver-targeting technology platform has applicability in preferentially targeting drugs to the liver across a range of new classes of compounds for diseases such as HCV.
"Additionally, we are extremely pleased with the positive data generated in preclinical evaluation of LG-7501," Foehr said.
"HCV represents a significant and growing health concern, with few therapeutic options currently available for the approximately 180 million patients infected with the disease worldwide."
The company is leveraging its HepDirect liver-targeting technology platform for the development of small molecule inhibitors of NS5B polymerase to treat HCV.
Preclinical studies assessed the pharmacokinetics and liver targeting of HepDirect prodrug of 2′-C methylguanosine, a clinically validated NS5B polymerase inhibitor.
According to Ligand, efficacy can be improved and at the same time systemic side effects in HCV treatment can be reduced by using HepDirect liver targeting of 2′-C methylguanosine and other active nucleosides.