Assembly Pharmaceuticals, a virology-focused biopharmaceutical company, and BioCrossroads announced that the BioCrossroads Indiana Seed Fund II has made an investment in Assembly Pharmaceuticals. Assembly is developing novel drugs for the treatment and potential cure of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Twilight Ventures, Luson Bioventures and private investors also participated in the financing round.
Pharmaceuticals is applying its novel science to develop agents with the
potential to cure chronic HBV. HBV is an under-appreciated global
epidemic with more than 350 million people worldwide chronically
infected, including two million in the US Chronic HBV causes cirrhosis
and liver failure, and it is a leading cause of liver cancer. Over
600,000 deaths each year are attributable to HBV. Current treatments can
suppress the infection but require lifelong therapy since they are not
Assembly Pharmaceuticals was formed in 2012 to develop
drugs based on the breakthrough science of co-founder and Indiana
University professor Adam Zlotnick, Dr. Zlotnick is a pioneer in the
biophysics of viral capsid assembly. His research has led to the
discovery of multiple families of small molecules known as Core Protein
Allosteric Modulators (CpAMs), which target the HBV core protein, a
unique viral protein with no human analogue that is involved in multiple
stages of the HBV life cycle.