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Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Acquires Exclusive License to Novel Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Technology From Stanford University

PALO ALTO, Calif., August 4, 2009 /PRNewswire/ -- Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company developing antiviral therapies, announced today that it has licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to novel Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) technology from Stanford University. This technology, discovered in the lab of Stanford scientist and Eiger founder Dr. Jeffrey Glenn, M.D., Ph.D., is focused on a variety of novel targets, including key features of NS4B, a non-structural protein in the HCV genome, which binds to HCV-RNA and is required for viral replication.

"We are delighted to have licensed the rights to this exciting new technology from Stanford University," said David Cory, President and CEO of Eiger. "Disrupting the interaction between NS4B and HCV-RNA may be a promising new method to treat HCV infection and help combat drug resistance to HCV polymerase and protease inhibitors. We are rapidly advancing novel small molecule inhibitors of NS4B-RNA binding into the clinic for the benefit of clinicians and HCV patients."

"The unique two component nature of the NS4B-RNA target appears to decrease the virus' ability to escape inhibition by the small molecule inhibitors in development at Eiger, and that should decrease HCV resistance to this type of antiviral therapy," said Jeffrey Glenn. "These virus specific agents in development at Eiger possess the promise of more effective, oral drugs that can be essential components of all future cocktails for HCV therapy."

About Hepatitis C Virus

Infections from HCV have reached pandemic proportions, affecting over 150 million people worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 3.9 million Americans have been exposed to HCV, resulting in 2.7 million cases of chronic infection. Chronic HCV infection leads to serious liver disease (e.g. liver scarring and cirrhosis) and is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplantation in the U.S.

About Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc.

Eiger is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of new antiviral agents against novel targets for the treatment of hepatitis virus infections. Eiger's pipeline includes repurposed clinical stage therapeutic agents as well as preclinical NCEs from discovery that exhibit antiviral activity against Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, and other viruses. Eiger investors include InterWest Partners and Vivo Ventures


SOURCE Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc.
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