Disappointing Data Forces Assembly Bio Stop Combo Trial For HBV Infection

  • Assembly Biosciences Inc ASMB will stop working on its first-generation core inhibitor, vebicorvir (VBR), as it prioritizes its next-gen core inhibitors ABI-H3733 and ABI-4334 and advances its research pipeline. 
  • The decision follows the review of interim efficacy from the two triple combination studies that did not show a benefit in multiple key viral parameters compared to the combinations without VBR.
  • Phase 1b trial of ABI-H3733 in chronic HBV infection is underway. Initial data are anticipated during 2H 2022. 
  • Assembly Bio will initiate a Phase 1a trial of ABI-4334 as single or multiple ascending dose administrations in healthy participants in 2H of 2022.
  • The company will also prioritize its small molecule research programs and two additional viral targets to be introduced during Q3 2022. 
  • The company workforce will be reduced by approximately 30%.
  • Luisa Stamm, the chief medical officer, will leave the company at the end of July, and Michael Samar, currently the CFO, will leave effective August 12.
  • Assembly Bio has appointed Jason Okazaki as President & COO to oversee all general and administrative functions, including finance. 
  • The reprioritization and restructuring activities are expected to extend Assembly Bio's estimated cash runway into 1H of 2024.
  • Price Action: ASMB shares are up 5.53% at $2.29 during the premarket session on the last check Thursday.
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