An HBV program built on ingenuity, vision and experience
Our goal is to discover and develop finite and curative therapies for those chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), and we believe we have unique capabilities that will enable us to bring the first therapeutic innovation in decades and improve cure rates for individuals with chronic HBV infection and to improve treatment opportunities for individuals also co-infected with hepatitis delta virus. Our strong scientific expertise in discovering and developing small molecules targeting multiple steps in the HBV replication cycle and engaging immunomodulatory approaches has made us a leader in the field.
HBV—one of the world’s most prevalent diseases
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a debilitating disease of the liver that afflicts approximately 296 million people worldwide, as estimated by the World Health Organization. HBV is a global epidemic that affects more than twice the number of people than hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection combined—with a higher morbidity and mortality rate. HBV is a leading cause of chronic liver disease and need for liver transplantation, and up to one million people worldwide die every year from HBV-related causes.
The current standard of care for patients with chronic HBV infection is life-long suppressive treatment with medications that reduce, but do not eliminate, the virus, resulting in very low cure rates and enormous unmet need.
Assembly’s differentiated approach
Our differentiated approach aims to maximize antiviral suppression by targeting multiple points in the HBV replication cycle while also engaging the arms of the immune system that have been shown to be able to affect a curative response.
Next-generation, more potent core inhibitors
Assembly Bio has developed two clinical-stage next-generation core inhibitors (CIs), a novel class of oral antivirals. These candidates have been optimized to potently disrupt both viral replication and, importantly, prevent the establishment and replenishment of new covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA). cccDNA is the viral reservoir that drives HBV’s life-long persistence in patients and first-generation core inhibitors have not demonstrated adequate potency to sufficiently block its formation. Further, the current standard of care (nucleoside analogs) can only inhibit production of new virus – and does so incompletely.1
1Marcellin, et al, AASLD 2014, Poster 1861
HBV/HDV Research pipeline
In addition to our next-generation core inhibitors, Assembly Bio’s research pipeline includes programs with the potential to accelerate progress towards finite and curative therapies for HBV and to treat hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a satellite virus that only infects those with chronic HBV infection and increases the disease burden for these individuals.