ContraVir Pharmaceuticals ( CTRV ) announced preliminary data earlier today showing its investigational lipid prodrug called CMX157 was "shown to be 60-fold more active than tenofovir against the hepatitis B virus (HBV) based on in vitro studies. This significant potency difference has considerable potential in increasing the safety profile and reducing the side effects compared to tenofovir DF (Viread®)."
Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) is the drug Gilead Sciences ( GILD ) produces to combat HPV, which has generated about $1.1 billion in sales for the company over the past 4 quarters.
ContaVir believes CMX157's lipid-conjugate design differs from Gilead's tenofovir DF. ContraVir will file an investigational new drug application for CMX157 before 2016. CMX157 has been used previously on human test subjects for HIV as well, and the company wants to commence a Phase 2 clinical study with hepatitis B patients in 2016.
According to the company's press release, "CMX157's enhanced absorption technology which utilizes the natural lipid uptake pathway to target the liver has the potential to lower systemic exposure compared to tenofovir, resulting in reduced off-target toxicity." ContraVir has also stated CMX157 is currently being examined in other studies to determine its "efficiency."
Once the Edison, New Jersey based company made the announcement, stocks soared as high as 150% up on the day. Currently, ContraVir is trading 130% up on the day, while Gilead is trading down less than 1% on the day.
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