ContraVir Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ:CTRV) touted encouraging results today from a preclinical study of its cyclophilin inhibitor, CRV431. In an animal model, the drug reduced the extent of fibrosis by 46% compared to the control.
The Edison, N.J.-based biopharma company is developing medicines to treat patients who are infected with the hepatitis B virus. In the treatment of hepatitis B, doctors often look to address the conditions that characterize liver disease – including fibrosis.
In a preclinical study, researchers gave mice streptozotocin – a chemotherapeutic – and put them on a high-fat diet. The mice were given CRV431 orally for eight weeks. ContraVir reported that the drug did not impact the animals’ body weight, liver weight or blood glucose levels. At the end of the eight-week study, researchers observed that fibrosis in the mice treated with CRV431 was reduced by 46% compared to the control group.
“The significant reduction in fibrosis development seen in this study, confirms our previous findings from a separate study conducted in Japan. Given this corroborating evidence, we see an opportunity to pursue a clinical program for CRV431 in fibrosis, expanding the potential of CRV431 beyond hepatitis B,” CEO James Sapirstein said in prepared remarks. “While we remain focused on bringing a combination cure for hepatitis B viral (HBV) infections with our TXL and CRV431 programs, we believe it is important to address the underlying hepatic tissue changes leading to the progression of liver disease, including fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.”
In an animal study of mice with hepatocellular carcinoma, ContraVir demonstrated that CRV431 lessened the number of tumor nodules by 44% and cut the overall tumor burden by 56% compared to the control group. The company noted that at the end of the 10-week study, 25% of mice treated with CRV431 had no liver tumors – meanwhile, all of the mice in the control group had at least five liver tumors.
CTRV shares were trading at $1.93 apiece today in premarket activity, up +2.7%.