Inhibitex has started dosing in a Phase II clinical trial to assess the safety, tolerability and antiviral activity of INX-189 in treatment naive patients who have chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 2 or 3.

INX-189 is a protide of a 2′-C-methyl guanosine analogue.

The 90-patient, randomised, placebo controlled and treatment guided trial has been designed to evaluate three once-daily doses of INX-189 (25mg, 50mg and 100mg) administered in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for 12 weeks.

The company also plans to initiate an additional clinical trial of INX-189 designed to evaluate higher doses of INX-189 administered as monotherapy or in combination with ribavirin for seven days.

Preclinical and clinical studies demonstrated INX-189 as a potent, once-daily, low dose oral therapy amenable to combination with other antivirals for the treatment of patients with all known genotypes of hepatitis C.