ContraVir Strengthens Its Board of Directors with the Addition of Virology
Expert, Scientist, and Entrepreneur, Timothy M. Block, Ph.D.
Distinguished leader in antiviral drug discovery and translational research
NEW YORK -- April 23, 2014
ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCBB:CTRV), an emerging biopharmaceutical
company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral
therapies, announced today that Timothy M. Block, Ph.D. has joined the
company’s Board of Directors. A renowned researcher and opinion leader in the
field of virology, Dr. Block is a professor and founder of the Hepatitis B
Foundation. His scientific work centers on the study and treatment of chronic
viral infections including hepatitis B and C, and herpes simplex virus. Dr.
Block has invented or co-invented several compounds designed to treat liver
cancer and viral infection.
“Tim brings to us a wealth of experience in the virology field, and I am
thrilled that he will provide his valuable insights to the company as we
execute on our strategy to develop FV-100 to treat PHN pain associated with
shingles, and to seek out additional targeted antiviral compounds for the
pipeline,” stated James Sapirstein, Chief Executive Officer of ContraVir
Pharmaceuticals. “He complements our recently established Board of Directors,
which has both the scientific and management rigor to build ContraVir into a
leading virology company”.
Timothy M. Block, Ph.D. currently serves as Co-founder and President of the
Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) the nation’s leading nonprofit organization
dedicated to improving the lives of those affected worldwide through research,
education and patient advocacy. He is also Director of the Baruch S. Blumberg
Institute (formerly called the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research). In
addition to his contribution to the virology field with the discovery of drug
compounds to treat liver cancer and hepatitis B and C, Dr. Block is the
inventor or co-inventor of several assays designed to aid in the drug
development of antiviral compounds, as well as assays to detect biomarkers for
liver cancer and hepatitis. Several of those inventions are used by drug
companies or institutions. Dr. Block also serves as President and CEO of the
Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, created by the HBF, which is home to more
than 300 employees working in 38 small start-up life science and technology
companies. At the Center, Dr. Block serves as a mentor to start-up companies,
where he advises on strategic and scientific planning, as well as funding
opportunities. Dr. Block is a leader in translational research as both a
scientist and entrepreneur. He has participated in FDA Advisory Panels, and
has been called to testify in front of several Congressional, State
legislative and FDA committees. He is a Professor in the Department of
Microbiology & Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine, and is
Director of the Drexel Institute for Biotechnology and Virology Research.
Additional Members of ContraVir’s Board of Directors
Gary S. Jacob, Ph.D., Chairman: Over 25 years of experience in the
pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries across multiple disciplines
including R&D, operations, and business development. Chief Executive Officer
of Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGYP), Director, Trovagene, Inc.
Chris McGuigan, Ph.D., Director: Inventor of FV-100, ContraVir’s principal
antiviral drug candidate. More than 200 scientific publications, over 100
patents, inventor on 3 New Chemical Entities that have entered clinical
trials. Professor and Head of Medicinal Chemistry, Welsh School of
Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University.
John P. Brancaccio, C.P.A., Director: Chief Financial Officer of Accelerated
Technologies, Inc., an incubator for medical device companies. Chief Financial
Officer of Memory Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company from May 2002
through March 2004. Former Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer of
Eline Group, an entertainment and media company. Serves as a Director for
Tamir Biotechnology, Inc., Trovagene, Inc., and Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc.
James Sapirstein, Chief Executive Officer and Director: Over 30 years of
pharmaceutical industry experience. Served as CEO of Alliqua Therapeutics,
Inc. and Tobira Therapeutics, Inc. Leadership roles at Serono Laboratories,
Gilead Sciences, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Hoffmann-LaRoche. Start up and
turn-around specialist. Significant experience in management, licensing,
strategic planning, and marketing within the antiviral drug segment.
Please see www.contravir.com for additional information about our Board of
About ContraVir Pharmaceuticals
ContraVir is a biopharmaceutical company focused primarily on the development
of drugs to treat herpes zoster, or shingles, which is an infection caused by
the reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV). ContraVir’s lead candidate,
FV-100, is an orally available nucleoside analogue prodrug that is being
developed for the treatment of shingles. Published preclinical studies
demonstrate that FV-100 is significantly more potent against VZV than
acyclovir, famcyclovir, and valacyclovir, the FDA approved drug for treating
shingles. Moreover, FV-100 has been shown to have a more rapid onset of
antiviral activity in preclinical models, and may fully inhibit the
replication of VZV more rapidly than these drugs at significantly lower
concentration levels. Phase I trials of FV-100 in volunteers were successfully
completed, as well as a Phase IIa clinical trial in shingles patients.
ContraVir plans to open a Phase IIb trial in patients with shingles to further
explore FV-100’s potential to treat the long-lasting nerve pain typically
associated with shingles.
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 December 31, 2013 and other periodic reports filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.
ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Gem Gokmen, +1-212-584-7610
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