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The Biotron Limited (ASX:BIT) share price jumped 70% higher this week

One of the best performers on the Australian share market on Friday was the Biotron Limited (ASX: BIT) share price. The drug development company’s shares finished the day higher by almost 14% to 29 cents.

This was just the latest in a series of gains that Biotron shares have made this week, bringing its weekly return to a massive 70%.

Investors have been fighting to get hold of the company’s shares due to promising trial results for one of its lead drugs. The drug in question is its BIT225 drug which is in clinical development for HIV-1 and Hepatitis C.

What is BIT225?

I think the company’s description for BIT225 says it best.

It says: “Biotron’s lead compound, BIT225, is in Phase 2 development for the treatment of HIV-1 and Hepatitis C virus infections. Importantly BIT225 inhibits HIV-1 replication in macrophage reservoir cells offering the potential, when used in combination with other anti-retroviral compounds, to eradicate HIV-1.”

At the end of last month Bitroin announced a successful outcome to the BIT225- 009 Phase 2 trial of BIT225 in HIV-infected patients in combination with current antiretroviral drugs.

The release explains that trial data demonstrated that there are significant immunological benefits in patients receiving antiretroviral drugs with 200 mg BIT225 compared to antiretroviral drugs plus a placebo. And the headline results indicate that BIT225 has had a profound effect on a source of virus that persists in the presence of antiretroviral drugs.

The company’s managing director, Dr Michelle Miller, explained why this is important. Saying that: “We know that antiretroviral drugs do NOT clear cellular reservoirs. HIV-infected people have to take drugs for their lifetime to keep virus under control. This trial shows for the first time that there may be a way to clear one of the main cellular reservoirs. This is a major step to the ultimate goal of curing HIV-1 infection.”

Should you invest?

I think this is an incredibly exciting development and I can’t say I’m surprised to see its shares rally higher.

While I do think Biotron has a lot of promise if BIT225 lives up to the hype, it is worth remembering that there’s still a long road ahead.

So for now, I’ll be sticking with the likes of CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX), but I’ll certainly be watching Biotron’s progress with interest.

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