WATERTOWN, Mass., Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that its lead development candidate from its NS5A hepatitis C virus (HCV) inhibitor program, EDP-239, has been recognized on Windhover's list of the "Top 10 Most Interesting Infectious Disease Projects to Watch." EDP-239 was chosen by independent experts at Windhover Information and Herndon Company.
NS5A, a clinically-validated target, is a non-structural viral protein that is essential to viral replication. Research efforts have shown that targeting NS5A gives rise to profound antiviral activity, and as a result, this protein has emerged as an important target for antiviral drug development. Enanta's NS5A program and intellectual property estate in the HCV field were derived from its internal drug discovery efforts.
"Enanta appreciates Windhover's recognition of our EDP-239 program for HCV, which showcases the strength of our internal drug discovery efforts aimed against important infectious disease targets," said Jay Luly, Ph.D, president and chief executive officer, Enanta Pharmaceuticals. "We are on-track to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial for EDP-239 in the coming months, following preclinical studies that demonstrated picomolar potency against multiple genotypes of the virus, an excellent safety profile and a preclinical pharmacokinetic profile amenable to once-a-day dosing in humans."
"Selected companies have been screened using a strict set of judging criteria for the Top 10 award and represent what our committees considered the most attractive infectious disease opportunities the industry has to offer," said David Cassak, Vice President, Content, Windhover Conferences, a division of Elsevier Business Intelligence. "Winners have met rigorous criteria, including: unmet medical need, market potential, diversity of indications, strong science, multi-level partnering opportunities (biotech and pharma), potential for new opportunities beyond initial indications and corporate stability."
About the Hepatitis C Virus
Hepatitis C is a liver disease affecting over 170 million people worldwide. The virus is spread through direct contact with the blood of an infected person. Hepatitis C increases a person's risk of developing chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. Liver disease associated with HCV infection is growing rapidly, and there is an acute need for new therapies that are safer and more effective. Specifically targeted antiviral therapies for HCV, such as NS3/4a protease and NS5A inhibitors, may have the potential to increase the proportion of patients in whom the virus can be eradicated.
Enanta Pharmaceuticals is a research and development company that uses its novel chemistry approach and drug discovery capabilities to create best in class small molecule drugs in the infectious disease field. Enanta is developing novel protease, NS5A, nucleoside(tide) polymerase, and cyclophilin-based inhibitors targeted against the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Additionally, the Company has created a new class of macrolide antibiotics, called Bicyclolides, which overcomes bacterial resistance. Antibacterial focus areas include overcoming resistance to superbugs, treating respiratory tract infections, and developing intravenous and oral treatments for hospital and community MRSA infections. Enanta is a privately held company headquartered in Watertown, Mass. Enanta's news releases and other information are available on the company's web site at www.enanta.com.
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