Market Overview

ContraVir Rallies As NASH Drug Shows Efficacy In Preclinical Study

Share:
ContraVir Rallies As NASH Drug Shows Efficacy In Preclinical Study

Shares of the nano-cap, thinly traded biotech ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CTRV) were trading nearly 150-percent higher Thursday. 

What Happened

ContraVir, which focuses on therapies for liver diseases arising from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, as well as chronic viral infection, announced Thursday ahead of the market open that a preclinical study of its lead product candidate CRV431 showed that it significantly reduced the extent of fibrosis in a second animal model of liver fibrosis.

Fibrosis is the scarring of liver — and is a chief symptom of NASH that impairs liver function.

ContraVir is developing CRV431 for NASH, fibrosis and other liver diseases such as viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. A Phase 1 single ascending dose study of CRV431 was safe and well-tolerated in humans, the company said.

ContraVir said it used obeticholic acid, or OCA, as a comparator drug in the study.

OCA is a semi-synthetic bile acid analog drug approved for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis that's being evaluated in a late-stage study for NASH by Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ICPT). 

OCA did not decrease the extent of fibrosis in the study, ContraVir said. 

Why It's Important

NASH has no FDA-approved treatment. Large-cap pharma Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) had to change course with its NASH pipeline and is now pinning its hopes on combo treatment options.

ContraVir CEO Robert Foster said in a statement that CRV431's superior efficacy profile is "very promising," particularly given the antiviral and anticancer properties demonstrated in other preclinical studies. 

What's Next

ContraVir said it will continue to study additional fibrosis models in preparation for future NASH clinical trials.

Contravir shares were trading higher by 117 percent at $10.85 at the time of publication Thursday, while Intercept shares were down by 2.45 percent at $82.36. 

Related Links:

The Daily Biotech Pulse: Takeda Pulls Plug On Amyloidosis Drug Trial, Chiasma Preps For Drug Launch With New CEO Appointment, Orchard Prices Offering

InflaRx Shares Slammed As Skin Inflammation Drug Flunks Midstage Trial; ChemoCentryx Moves In Sympathy

Photo by Nephron/Wikimedia

Posted-In: NASHBiotech News Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga

 

Related Articles (GILD + CTRV)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!
Fastest Market News Application
You'll Hear It First On Pro
Don't Miss Any Updates!
News Directly in Your Inbox
Subscribe to:
Benzinga Trading Daily
Get pre-market outlook, mid-day update and after-market roundup emails in your inbox.
Market in 5 Minutes
Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.
Daily Analyst Rating
A summary of each day’s top rating changes from sell-side analysts on the street.
Thank You

Thank you for subscribing! If you have any questions feel free to call us at 1-877-440-ZING or email us at vipaccounts@benzinga.com

Insys Therapeutics Board Members Resign After $225M DOJ Settlement

Prepare For Retail Retrenchment With This ETF