In early December, AiCuris announced the completion of Phase II trials of their herpes compound AIC316. This announcement comes earlier than expected as the trial ended two months prior than planned. The early completion was not the only surprise. The large interest in the trial also came as a surprise to the company. Interest was so great the company had to restrict enrollment in the latter stages of this phase when enrollment exceeded the requirement. As Associate Director of Clinical Development at the company, Dr. Burkhard Timmler, commented, “We were surprised by the interest in our trial and the number of requests for participation that we received from people infected with herpes simplex virus…In spite of available therapeutic options there seems to be a great demand for a new well tolerated and efficacious drug for people suffering from genital herpes.”
As previously reported in The Helper- AIC316, a helicase-primase inhibitor, is a new potential treatment for herpes simplex virus infections. This class of treatments prevents viral DNA from unwinding thus preventing the virus from replicating. If this drug makes it market it may be another option for suppression and would aid in reduced disease transmission in addition to outbreak reduction.
Data from the trial is not slated to be available until the early part of this year. Company CEO, Prof. Rubsamen-Schaeff notes the data will be useful in determining the dosing and confirming the use of the compound once daily. The company whose name is a derivative of anti-infective cures has high expectations for the compound. As the Rubsamen-Schaeff stated, “Our ultimate goal is to address the still existing unmet medical need in the field of genital herpes infections with this drug which acts by a unique mode of action.”