EDISON, N.J., Aug. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTRV), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a new patent, US 9,714,271 covering a broad collection of cyclophilin inhibitors. ContraVir currently has a lead cyclophilin inhibitor, CRV431 (US 9,200,038), for use as an antiviral which is being developed for treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV). The Company anticipates that CRV431 will be used in conjunction with tenofovir exalidex (TXLTM), its lead drug currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.
The newly granted patent significantly extends the claims of the original CRV431 patent family. It is known that while different types of cyclophilins are ubiquitous and differ in their cellular localization, enzymatic properties, and their role in protein folding, cyclophilins play a key role in many diverse diseases including infectious diseases, inflammation, cell death, muscular dystrophy, ischemia reperfusion, and oncogenesis.
"We are very pleased to have received the issuance of this additional patent, as it provides broad coverage of many compounds within our library of cyclophilin inhibitors. This also positions us for opportunities to potentially treat other diseases,” commented James Sapirstein, Chief Executive Officer of ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc. “Having a patented portfolio of cyclophilin inhibitors allows us to access additional disease indications and potentially expand beyond our core program in HBV.”
CRV431 is a non-immunosuppressive analog of cyclosporine A (CsA) whose primary biochemical action is inhibition of cyclophilin isomerase activity, playing a key role in protein folding. Other viruses such as HIV-1 and HCV, similarly use cyclophilin for their replication. CRV431 shows potential in experimental models to complement current hepatitis B treatments by reducing multiple markers of infection including HBV DNA, HBsAg, HBx, HBeAg, and HBV uptake by cells. Studies have also demonstrated that CRV431 possesses anti-fibrotic activity which may further curb progression of liver disease in patients.
About ContraVir Pharmaceuticals
ContraVir is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies with a specific focus on developing a potentially curative therapy for hepatitis B virus (HBV). The Company is developing two novel anti-HBV compounds with complementary mechanisms of action. TXL™ currently in Phase 2a, is designed to deliver high intrahepatic concentrations of TFV, while minimizing off-target effects caused by high levels of circulating TFV. CRV431, the other anti-HBV compound, is a next-generation cyclophilin inhibitor with a unique structure that increases its potency and selective index against HBV. ContraVir is also developing Valnivudine™, an orally available nucleoside analogue prodrug. Valnivudine™ is currently in Phase 3 for the treatment of herpes zoster. In addition to direct antiviral activity, Phase 2 data suggest that Valnivudine™ has the potential to reduce the incidence of debilitating shingles-associated pain known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). For more information visit www.contravir.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "forecast," "estimated" and "intend," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on ContraVir's current expectations and actual results could differ materially. There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, substantial competition; our ability to continue as a going concern; our need for additional financing; uncertainties of patent protection and litigation; uncertainties with respect to lengthy and expensive clinical trials, that results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future trial results; uncertainties of government or third party payer reimbursement; limited sales and marketing efforts and dependence upon third parties; and risks related to failure to obtain FDA clearances or approvals and noncompliance with FDA regulations. As with any drug candidates under development, there are significant risks in the development, regulatory approval, and commercialization of new products. There are no guarantees that future clinical trials discussed in this press release will be completed or successful, or that any product will receive regulatory approval for any indication or prove to be commercially successful. ContraVir does not undertake an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement. Investors should read the risk factors set forth in ContraVir's Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2016 and other periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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