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Virion Biotherapeutics Demonstrates Preclinical Proof-of-Concept for First Therapeutic Interfering Particle Candidate in Respiratory Virus Infections

Wednesday, November 14th 2018 at 10:00am UTC

–Data presented at 6th ISIVR-AVG Conference–

–Company announces Penelope Ward joins as Chief Medical Officer–

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Virion Biotherapeutics today presented in vivo data on its lead
product VH244, the first candidate to emerge from its Therapeutic
Interfering Particles (TIPs) biologics platform. The study results
highlighted that VH244 significantly reduces replication of pneumonia
virus of mice, a surrogate model for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
This was achieved while delivering a long therapeutic window with a high
barrier to resistance and no immunogenicity upon repeat dosing in the
murine model. VH244 consists of a therapeutic interfering RNA packaged
within a viral particle derived from influenza A PR8. TIPs are a new
therapeutic modality that harness two natural occurring mechanisms that
prevent viral replication, genomic interference and enhancement of the
innate immune response, enabling broad-spectrum treatment of respiratory
virus infections (RVIs).

The data were presented by Isabel Najera, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer
of Virion Biotherapeutics in an oral presentation at the 6th
International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases
– Advances in Respiratory Virus Therapeutics (6th ISIVR-AVG)
Conference held in Washington DC, US from November 13-15, 2018.

“The results provide additional validation for our approach and clearly
demonstrate that a single dose of VH244 is effective in ameliorating
disease in this preclinical surrogate model. Importantly, VH244 showed a
durable response upon repeat dosing and no emergence of resistance,”
explained Isabel Najera, PhD, Virion Biotherapeutic’s Chief Scientific
Officer. “Combined with the results we have seen in other respiratory
virus models, including influenza A, we believe this novel therapeutic
modality could provide a differentiated path to treating RVIs,
potentially delivering an unprecedented broad spectrum therapeutic for

In the study, Virion Biotherapeutics investigated the efficacy window of
VH244 against Pneumonia Virus of Mice (PVM), a surrogate model for RSV.
A single dose of VH244 administered on either day -1, 1, 2 or 3 post PVM
infection prevented disease and significant weight loss, demonstrating a
long therapeutic window for intervention post infection. Repeat dosing
of VH244 did not lead to resistance development upon prolonged exposure
to VH244 in infected animals.

In conjunction with the data presentation, Virion Biotherapeutics
officially announced the appointment of Penelope Ward, MBBS, FFPM, as
Chief Medical Officer to support the Company’s clinical development
plans for its TIP platform.

Vanessa King, Chief Executive Officer of Virion Biotherapeutics
commented: “Penny is a tremendous addition to our growing team and her
significant experience, specifically in the development of novel
anti-viral therapies, such as Tamiflu®, will be instrumental
as we advance our pipeline into the clinic.”

“I am very excited to join Vanessa and Isabel, two industry leaders, in
their efforts to provide novel solutions for respiratory virus
infections,” added Penelope Ward, MBBS, FFPM. “These diseases are a
major health burden, leading to billions of dollars of economic costs
caused by millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of
hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths annually in the US
alone. Currently, no treatment is available for the 85% of respiratory
illnesses caused by non-influenza viruses. VH244 is well-positioned to
change this equation and transform the management of respiratory viral
disease. I look forward to contributing to its development.”

Penelope Ward, MBBS, FFPM joins Virion Biotherapeutics with more than 20
years of experience in clinical development and medical affairs, with a
specific focus on anti-viral therapeutics. Her work has contributed to
the approval of multiple therapies for the treatment of infectious
diseases, osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders in the US, Europe and
Japan. She was the Global Clinical Development Leader for Tamiflu®,
which was rapidly approved creating a new industry timeframe benchmark
and additionally contributed to the development of antiviral therapies
for HIV, CMV and Hepatitis. During her extensive career, she has held
senior management roles at Pharmacia & Upjohn, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline
and UCB, and has served as Chief Medical Officer for several start-up
companies including Blue Earth Diagnostics, Karus Therapeutics, Topivert
and Novimmune. Penny holds a medical degree from University College
Hospital London and is a Visiting Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical
Medicine at Kings College, London.

About Therapeutic Interfering Particles (TIPs)

Virion is developing proprietary biologics, called Therapeutic
Interfering Particles (TIPs), which are able to penetrate cells of the
respiratory epithelium but are not able to multiply.
Virion’s lead
TIP, VH244, is an optimized RNA molecule packaged in a viral particle
derived from influenza A PR8, designed for the treatment and prevention
of respiratory virus infections (RVIs).

About Virion Biotherapeutics

Founded in 2017, Virion Biotherapeutics seeks to transform the
management of respiratory viral infections with the development of its
proprietary Therapeutic Interfering Particles (TIPs). These
first-in-class biologicals enhance a naturally-occurring dual mechanism
that interferes with viral replication, preventing infection and
stopping disease, enabling treatment of the broad spectrum of
respiratory virus infections. Virion was established to advance the
pioneering work on viral replication. It is led by an experienced
management team with successful track records in venture-backed biotech
and infectious disease drug development, and its founding investor is
Abingworth. Further information can be found at


Virion Biotherapeutics
Vanessa King
Media Requests

Trophic Communications
Stephanie May or
Jacob Verghese
+49 171 185 5682

Source: Virion Biotherapeutics

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