ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CTRV) has reported positive laboratory results that further validates CMX157 as a highly potent hepatitis B treatment. A vitro study carried out by a third party showed greater antiviral activity with CMX157 compared to Gilead’s tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF).

 Head to head Study

The study sought to profile CMX157 by comparing its hepatitis B activities with those of other tenofovir prodrugs. In a head-to-head study, CMX157 compared favorably to tenofovir, which the Food and Drug Administration has already approved.

The study also showed that the two drugs are potent against Hepatitis B virus. On rebound studies, CMX157 demonstrated best in class duration of activity. The Vitro study was also able to confirm increased potency levels with the drug as reported by ContraVir.

Unlike Tenofovir, CMX157’S novel formulation allows it to deliver high intercellular concentrations. It is for this reason that it tends to be more effective in suppressing HBV than other drugs already in the market.

Tenofovir effectiveness on the other hand is limited by the fact that it has a low oral bioavailability, renal toxicity. Even though it is an effective antiviral agent, Tenofovir also falls short on being poor at cell penetration. Gilead has already taken note of the deficiency and as a result is transitioning from tenofovir disoproxil fumarate to TAF to leverage high efficacy at one tenth of a dose.

Clinical trials

ContraVir is currently undertaking a phase 1/2a clinical study on the ingredient, which is already showing great potential. Enrollment of health volunteers should begin soon as the drug maker also looks to start enrolling hepatitis B patients in the second quarter of the year.

ContraVir was one of the biggest movers on Tuesday upon the release of the news. CMX157 showing greater antiviral activity to Gilead all but goes to affirm confidence on CMX157 even though it is still a big shot ahead of clinical studies.