The Edison, New Jersey-based biotech company is developing CRV431 to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), commonly called “fatty liver,” which causes liver inflammation and damage from a buildup of fat.
ContraVir said in a statement that CRV431 “was found to be 100% effective at preventing fibrosis induction beyond baseline levels” in the first study with human liver-slice cultures. Fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver is a hallmark symptom of NASH that results in impaired liver function.
Investors cheered the results, recently sending the company’s stock up 48% to $13.22 a share on heavy volume.
“The results from this study are highly meaningful because they come from fully intact samples of human livers,” said CEO Dr Robert Foster. “The closer that experimental models are to replicating what happens in the human body, the greater the likelihood that the therapeutic effects observed in the models will translate to human diseases.”
ContraVir is developing CRV431 for NASH, fibrosis, and other lover diseases such as viral hepatitis and liver cancer.
A Phase 1, single ascending dose study of CRV431 was safe and well tolerated in humans. Currently, CRV431 is being administered in a 28-day multiple ascending dose study.
Worldwide liver cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths, with as many as 750,000 deaths annually.
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