Arbutus Biopharma's Imduisiran Shows Promise in Treating Chronic Hepatitis B

Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ: ABUS) has just released new data from its phase 2a clinical trial, IM-PROVE I (AB-729-201), demonstrating the potential of imdusiran, the company's RNAi therapeutic, in achieving sustained undetectable levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (CHBV) infection.

Key findings from the trial include: Patients who received either 48 or 24 weeks of imdusiran, along with 24 weeks of pegylated interferon alfa-2α (IFN) and ongoing nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) therapy, achieved undetectable HBsAg at the end of treatment. 33.3% of patients who received 48 weeks of imdusiran, IFN, and NA therapy, and 23.1% of patients who received 24 weeks of imdusiran, IFN, and NA therapy, maintained sustained undetectable levels of HBsAg 24 weeks after completing treatment. All six patients with sustained HBsAg loss have seroconverted with high anti-HBsAg antibody levels, suggesting immune control. One patient who received 12 weeks of IFN treatment with imdusiran and NA therapy maintained undetectable levels of HBsAg and HBV DNA while off all therapy for six months, achieving a functional cure. * The combination of imdusiran and 24 weeks of IFN was generally safe and well-tolerated, with no serious adverse events related to imdusiran or IFN.

Dr. Karen Sims, Chief Medical Officer of Arbutus Biopharma, emphasized the significance of these findings, underscoring the need for a functional cure for the millions of patients globally suffering from CHBV infection. She expressed confidence in the potential of imdusiran to lower surface antigen and provide a functional cure when combined with an immunomodulator.

The IM-PROVE I trial enrolled 43 HBeAg-negative, NA-suppressed patients with CHBV infection and evaluated the impact of imdusiran added to ongoing NA therapy, along with different durations of IFN treatment. The trial demonstrated the safety and tolerability of imdusiran, while also showing promising efficacy in reducing HBsAg levels and inducing sustained HBsAg loss in some patients.

Arbutus Biopharma is dedicated to leveraging its virology expertise to develop novel therapeutics with distinct mechanisms of action to address the unmet medical need in CHBV infection. Their pipeline includes imdusiran and an oral PD-L1 inhibitor, AB-101, both of which are currently in clinical trials.

The company's commitment to advancing these innovative therapies underscores its mission to provide a functional cure for patients with CHBV infection, representing a significant step forward in the field of hepatitis B treatment. These data from the IM-PROVE I trial are a testament to the potential of imdusiran as a transformative treatment option for patients with CHBV infection. As a result of these announcements, the company's shares have moved 6.6% on the market, and are now trading at a price of $3.56. If you want to know more, read the company's complete 8-K report here.

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