Medivir’s current R&D programme is focused on oncology – an area in which our scientific platform offers considerable scope for the development of innovative drugs – and we have identified two particular areas of significant potential:
- the design of protease inhibitors where there is a clear link to one or more forms of cancer and a well-defined opportunity to improve treatment outcomes;
- the know-how in selectively targeting pharmaceuticals to the liver as part of the company’s nucleotide-based hepatitis C inhibitor project can be utilised to steer cancer drugs, for example in the treatment of liver cancer.
Medivir’s scientific platform is based on cutting-edge expertise in protease inhibitor design and nucleotide/nucleoside science.
Proteases are a group of enzymes that play a decisive role in the development of numerous conditions, from infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders, to cancer. Protease inhibitors are often used in combination with nucleoside analogues in the treatment of HIV and hepatitis C. Medivir has historically targeted viral proteases in its R&D work, with simeprevir as the clearest example of our success to date.
Nucleoside analogues are the building blocks that make up DNA and RNA, and these molecules play a key part in the treatment of virtually all (viral) diseases for which an effective antiviral treatment exists. Medivir’s research focuses on oncology, where our scientific platform offers excellent potential for developing ground-breaking cancer drugs. The development of Xerclear (Zoviduo®), which was approved for the treatment of labial herpes in 2009, is proof of Medivir’s successful research based on nucleoside analogues.
The company is continuously evaluating new oncology projects that could strengthen our R&D portfolio. The main criteria are that new projects must be commercially interesting, which is assessed on the basis of medical need and the competitive climate, and that the development programme is scientifically feasible.