ContraVir Hopes To Establish Backbone For Hepatitis B Combo Therapy
Two deals have resulted in the formerly shingles-focused biotech beginning to build an HBV pipeline and look ahead to therapeutic advances similar to those seen in HIV and hepatitis C. But the New Jersey biotech will be competing with some deep-pocketed competitors in the space.
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While current HBV drugs work well to suppress the virus, combination success in HIV and HCV is leading biopharmas to seek a multi-part approach to suppressing and clearing the virus, with limited-term therapy.
Among the topics at the European liver meeting was whether reducing HBV surface antigen might be part of a combination approach to curing chronic hepatitis B. One of the leaders in this approach, Arbutus, is working toward its own internal combo therapy for the virus.
At BioPharm America 2016, ContraVir CEO James Sapirstein explains how CMX157, a lipid formulation of tenofovir (Gilead's Viread for HIV and hepatitis B), could become a backbone agent for advances in combination therapy in hep B.