Shanghai-based biotech Ark Biosciences successfully completes PhI on RSV candidate

Venture-backed Ark Biosciences has successfully completed a Phase I clinical trial of work on anti-respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) candidate AK0529, hitting a key milestone for the respiratory viral infection and viral hepatitis focused company.

In June, Shanghai-based Ark Biosciences announced that it snapped up global rights for the Roche ($RHHBY) drug candidate AK0529 deal that included upfront payments as well as milestone goals and potential royalties if the candidate makes it to approval.

The company said in a release it will look to progress development of AK0529 by a study in hospitalized patients for the latest results. The candidate is aimed at treating acute RSV infection by blocking viral entry and syncytium formation, the company said in the release, adding that "single ascending doses and multiple ascending doses were evaluated."

Ark Biosciences CEO Jim Wu

"We are pleased to announce the successful completion of AK0529's Phase I clinical trial," Jim Wu, founder and CEO, said in the release. "This represents a significant step in the development of AK0529 as an effective first-line antiviral therapy for RSV infection in infants and the elderly."

In May of last year, Gilead Sciences ($GILD) said its RSV candidate, GS-5806, hit the primary and secondary endpoints in lowering viral loads in a Phase IIa study.

In April, Ark Biosciences raised an undisclosed amount for an antiviral respiratory candidate with new investors Qiming Venture Partners, joining Morningside and existing investor TF Capital, which is among one of the few venture firms betting on early stage biotechs.

The funding paved the way to develop the Roche candidate by working with WuXi AppTec ($WX) on manufacturing and Hangzhou Tigermed Consulting on clinical development.

- here's the release