Hepatitis Delta Virus program
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) causes the most serious form of viral hepatitis and affects 15-20 million people worldwide. HDV infection requires co-infection with Hepatitis B virus (HBV), and all HBV infected patients are at risk, although HDV co-infection often goes undetected. Hepatitis Delta Connect, a public outreach program, was recently established to increase both patient and physician awareness about the need to test for HDV among HBV patients since infection with this virus results in rapid liver damage.
Although there are now commercial tests available to diagnose HDV infection, there is no approved therapy for acute or chronic HDV. In fact, the only treatment option (alpha interferon) is ineffective in the majority of patients, and withdrawal of the drug leads to relapse. HDV infection can rapidly progress to end-stage liver disease, for which a liver transplant is the only treatment option.
Utilizing its proprietary RNAi technology platform (sshRNA®), SomaGenics targets viral RNAs required for the HDV replication cycle and has several candidates currently in preclinical development. In support of this program, SomaGenics has received a multi-year Phase II SBIR grant from the NIH and is working in collaboration with Stanford University.
Please inquire for more information, or if interested in collaboration or other partnering opportunities.