Hepatitis C virusTrek Therapeutics, a private, clinical stage public benefit corporation developing affordable and accessible treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has acquired the worldwide development and commercialization rights to treat infectious disease with lomibuvir (VX-222), a non-nucleoside inhibitor of the HCV NS5B polymerase and merimepodib (VX-497), an inhibitor of inosine monosphosphate dehydrogenase with broad-spectrum antiviral properties from Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.

Vertex will be eligible to receive milestones and royalties based on successful development and commercialization of lomibuvir and merimepodib. Other terms were not disclosed.

“Senior management at TREKtx is familiar with VX-222, lomibuvir, and VX-497 merimepodib, having worked closely with the compounds in the past,” said Ann Kwong, PhD, and Chief Executive Officer of TREKtx. “I look forward to working again with these agents, which broaden our antiviral portfolio and further position TREKtx to achieve our goal of developing antiviral drugs that are affordable and accessible.”

About Lomibuvir: Lomibuvir is an oral non-nucleoside inhibitor of the HCV NS5B polymerase with potent activity against genotype 1a and 1b. Lomibuvir has completed Phase IIb clinical studies in HCV patients.

About Merimepodib: Merimepodib is an oral inhibitor of the enzyme inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH). IMPDH inhibition leads to a reduction in intracellular guanosine triphosphate (GTP), a molecule required for DNA and RNA synthesis and represents an attractive strategy for treating infectious diseases. Merimipodib has completed Phase IIb clinical studies in HCV patients.

About HCV: Hepatitis C is an infectious disease of the liver. Worldwide, 135 million people have chronic HCV infection and most are undiagnosed. Three quarters of people with chronic HCV infection will develop chronic liver disease. Development of affordable therapies for HCV is a global health priority.

In the United States, chronic HCV infection is the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer, and the most common reason for liver transplantation. Multiple highly effective, safe, and well-tolerated regimens have been developed for chronic HCV. The creation of these drugs sets the stage for a Campaign to Eradicate HCV. The accessibility of HCV treatment is limited by the low diagnosis rate and the high cost of drugs.