Israel’s biotechnology drug developer CureTech has obtained approval to begin its Phase I/II clinical trial of its CT-1011, a humanized monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of hepatitis C. The trial will include 20 patients and will begin toward the end of the year.

The trial is part of CureTech’s collaboration with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. As part of this collaboration, CureTech is also conducting a Phase II clinical trial of CT-1011 for the treatment of liver and bowel cancer.

A report published in Datamonitor notes that 10 million people now suffer from chronic hepatitis C and current interferon-based drugs can cause severe side effects and are only effective in half of cases.

Studies predict that the market for a hepatitis C vaccine could triple from the current $1.5 billion to $4.5 billion by 2017.