InterMune, Inc. will soon begin a phase I clinical study to evaluate PEG-Alfacon as a potential new treatment for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
PEG-Alfacon is the pegylated version of interferon alfacon-1, which InterMune markets under the brand name of Infergen.
The trial will enroll about 40 volunteers. Besides evaluating the drug's safety, the trial will also seek to determine the maximum tolerated dose of PEG-Alfacon.
InterMune President Scott Harkonen said the introduction of PEG-Alfacon could mark the beginning of a new era of HCV therapeutics where more potent bioengineered compounds are used.
InterMune Vice President Curtis Ruegg said PEG-Alfacon has greater interferon receptor binding and better immune activating and viral inhibition capabilities compared to other alpha interferons.
InterMune plans to begin a Phase II study by the end of 2003 to further evaluate PEG-Alfacon.
Source: InterMune, Inc.