SYDNEY, Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ --

Phase 2a trial validates Biotron's novel drugFirst-in- class new, oral drugGood results on tolerability and efficacyFull data to be presented to scientific conference in December

Australian drug development company Biotron Limited (ASX:BIT) has released headline results from its landmark Phase 2a trial of its lead drug candidate, BIT225 in Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients.

Preliminary analysis of trial data confirms that BIT225, an orally administered, small molecule drug, has good antiviral activity against HCV. Patients receiving BIT225 in combination with interferon and ribavirin (the current standard of care for treating HCV) had greater reductions in HCV levels than patients receiving standard of care treatment alone.

Patients receiving the 400 mg dose of BIT225 showed the greatest levels of virus reduction, with an improvement of ~1 log (a measure of the amount of reduction of the virus in the blood of patients) over standard of care treatment at the completion of the dosing phase with BIT225. This is a significant improvement over and above the standard of care treatment in this patient group.

Twenty four patients who had passed a stringent screening process were randomly assigned to receive either 400 mg or 200 mg BIT225, or placebo (ratio of 1:1:1), for the first 28 days of their standard treatment with interferon and ribavirin. The trial was undertaken at the Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand. All patients were infected with genotype 1 HCV, which is the most common type of HCV and the most resistant to current treatment.

Since the completion of the clinical phase of dosing with BIT225 in August, samples have been analysed and the resultant data has been subject to preliminary review by the independent D