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Arrow Therapeutics Selects a Further Hepatitis C Clinical Candidate.

LONDON, January 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Arrow Therapeutics, the London based antiviral drug discovery and development company, has announced that a further Hepatitis C compound, A-689, has entered full preclinical development.

A-689 is the second compound from Arrow's broad approach to the NS5a target to enter development. November 2006 saw Arrow's first Hepatitis C compound, A-831, enter Phase I trials. Both compounds target the novel NS5a protein but have completely different chemical structures and bind to the target at different sites.

Once again A-689 originates from Arrow's focused chemical library and was optimised in-house. The compound has shown highly potent activity in the replicon assay and has an excellent therapeutic index and good pharmacokinetic properties. Phase I trials on A-689 are planned for the second half of 2007.

The urgent need for novel Hepatitis C inhibitors has been well documented, with an estimated 170 million sufferers worldwide. The current Standard of Care treatment (Pegylated Interferon + ribavirin) has a poor side effect profile and is only effective in around 50% of patients. As with HIV/AIDS, multiple drugs in combination therapy are likely to be needed to overcome drug resistance. The value of the Hepatitis C market was approximately US$2.2 billion in 2005 and is forecast to grow substantially to US$4.4 billion in 2010 and US$8.8 billion in 2015.

Arrow's CEO, Ken Powell, speaks of his delight at the recent advancements made within the programme, "Since the inception of Arrow, we have been committed to the Hepatitis C field. With A-831 already in Phase I trials and now A-689 entering preclinical development, we are beginning to realise our aims for a broad pipeline of Hepatitis C inhibitors. We regard both our compounds as ideal components of the multiple drug combinations likely to be required to successfully treat this virus with its tendency to mutate and to resist new agents".

Notes to Editors

Arrow Therapeutics

Arrow Therapeutics was founded in 1998, and is focused exclusively on novel antiviral drug discovery and development. Based in central London with around 55 employees, the product pipeline includes novel antiviral lead and clinical compounds. Arrow's lead programme to treat Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is in Phase ll clinical studies and is partnered with Novartis. The Hepatitis C programme consists of multiple series from different chemical classes. The most advanced compounds inhibit NS5a, a novel viral target. The lead compound, A-831, is currently in Phase I trials and A-689, a compound from the second NS5a series, has just entered preclinical development (see above). Arrow also has a Hepatitis C polymerase programme in lead optimisation.

Compounds will be licensed at stages between preclinical and Phase IIb depending on the therapeutic area.

Seed funding of GBP1.5 million was provided by Unibio of London who also invested in the first major funding round completed in July 2000 along with GIMV Belgium (lead), Alta Partners USA, 3i Group London, TVM Munich, and NVM Edinburgh which brought in GBP11.1 million. The same group provided a further GBP7 million in January 2002. The latest funding round was completed in early 2004 raising over GBP23 million from the USA, Japan and Europe. Atlas Venture is now the lead investor.

Arrow Therapeutics Ltd, Britannia House, 7 Trinity Street, London SE1 1DB

Press Contacts: Ken Powell, CEO +44-(0)20-7015-1002; Annie Clayton Investor Relations & Marketing, +44-(0)20-7015-1004
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Publication:PR Newswire Europe
Date:Jan 15, 2007
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