MILFORD, Mass., May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals today announced it has been awarded an RO1 grant from the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the development of SB 9200, a novel, orally bioavailable agent for the treatment of Hepatitis B virus infection.
Under the terms of this award, Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals will receive $3.9 million over five years in support of its development efforts. This is the fourth Federally funded grant award Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals has received in support of it's Small Nucleic Acid Hybrid (SMNH) technology and brings the Company's total Federal support to more than $12 million.
"We are very pleased to receive this important grant award from the NIH to further develop SB 9200 for the treatment of Hepatitis B virus infections," said Douglas Jensen, CEO of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals. " Hepatitis B infection is very widespread and has proven to be a very difficult disease to treat. The NIH has made it clear that new types of drugs to treat Hepatitis B, such as SB 9200, are urgently needed." According to R. P. Iyer, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, "The NIH support for our HBV program validates our novel approach to treat this widespread disease. SB 9200 holds great promise because it is a new class of potent orally bioavailable drug that works by an entirely novel mechanism of action and has demonstrated an excellent safety profile in a battery of in vitro and in vivo toxicology studies."
About Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B virus ("HBV") infects roughly one-third of the world's population, or more than two billion people. Of these, about 350 million become chronically infected, leading to progressive liver disease and approximately one million deaths each year. Chronic infection with HBV can lead to the development of hepatocellular