ContraVir Pharmaceuticals

Emerging Company in the Spotlight sponsored by JFK Communications.

BioNJ is pleased to shine the spotlight on one of our Innovation Members each month featuring their progress and work on behalf of Patients and their impact on the New Jersey life sciences ecosystem. This month’s Emerging Company in the Spotlight is ContraVir Pharmaceuticals. 

So many of our Members are making a dramatic impact on our State’s innovation ecosystem. We celebrate you! ContraVir Pharmaceuticals is one such company. 

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ContraVir Pharmaceuticals is a dedicated research and development biopharmaceutical company that embraces partnership and collaboration as part of its mission to develop and commercialize novel therapeutics in the infectious disease category. The company established its headquarters in Edison, New Jersey in 2014, having chosen that location in part to take advantage of the rich pool of available life sciences talent and an abundance of geographically desirable industry partners.

ContraVir actively seeks to significantly expand its pipeline and commercialization through strategic partnerships and research collaborations. The company currently has two mid-to-late-stage clinical assets: FV-100, designed to treat herpes zoster (shingles) and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), the severe long-lasting pain that can accompany shingles; and CMX157, designed to treat hepatitis B virus (HBV).

FV-100 is a fast-acting, low-dose, once-daily, oral antiviral therapy for the treatment of shingles, an infection caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster (chicken pox) virus. In addition to its potent antiviral activity, FV-100 has been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles-associated pain, which is also known as post-herpetic neuralgia, or PHN. An ongoing Phase 3 trial is comparing FV-100 to the antiviral agent valacyclovir (Valtrex®), with PHN reduction as the primary endpoint.

CMX157 is a novel lipid acyclic nucleoside phosphonate that delivers high intracellular concentrations of the active antiviral agent tenofovir (Viread®). CMX157’s novel structure results in decreased circulating levels of tenofovir, thereby lowering systemic exposure and reducing the potential for renal side effects. ContraVir is developing CMX157 to address the limited efficacy and resistance profiles of approved HBV drugs. In a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers, CMX157 demonstrated a favorable safety, tolerability, and drug distribution profile, establishing a solid foundation for proposed Phase 2 clinical trials.

“Hepatitis B treatment today is where HIV treatment was in the mid-90s,” Mr. Sapirstein says. “Our research focuses on combination strategies to combat the worldwide epidemic of hepatitis B virus, which affects about 350 million people worldwide. Identifying compounds that complement or enhance CMX157 will be key to bringing a new and effective treatment to a market that has few viable options.”

Since becoming a BioNJ member in 2011, ContraVir has been an influential leader in the BioNJ community. James Sapirstein, CEO of Contravir Pharmaceuticals, was appointed to the BioNJ Board of Trustees in 2015. In return, BioNJ continues to collaborate with ContraVir in fostering the company’s growth, consulting on matters relating to talent acquisition and partnership development.

ContraVir is working to identify new partnership opportunities to advance the research and development, as well as commercialization, of its product candidates. For those interested in exploring business opportunities, please contact Clair Sojda at csojda@tiberend.com. Or visit www.contravir.com for additional information.