Gilead Sciences and Precision BioSciences Announce Collaboration to Develop Therapies Against Hepatitis B Virus Using ARCUS Genome Editing
FOSTER CITY, Calif. & DURHAM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) and Precision BioSciences announced today that the companies have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop therapies targeting the in vivo elimination of hepatitis B virus (HBV) with Precision’s proprietary genome editing platform, ARCUS.
An estimated 257 million people are living with HBV infection around the world. Current HBV treatments suppress HBV viral replication but do not completely clear the virus. The presence of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) enables HBV replication if treatment is stopped. Preliminary studies at Gilead using ARCUS nucleases to target HBV cccDNA in vitro have demonstrated significant activity against cccDNA and integrated HBV DNA in human hepatocytes.
“Gilead is committed to developing innovative therapies to achieve functional cure for patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection,” said John McHutchison, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development at Gilead. “We are excited about the potential of genome editing and Precision’s ARCUS technology, which has demonstrated promising in vitro activity. We look forward to exploring this technology as an important component of our HBV cure research efforts.”