Chimerix, Inc. (NASDAQ: CMRX) a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, oral antivirals in areas of high unmet medical need, and ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCBB: CTRV), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, announced today that the companies have entered into a strategic collaboration for the further clinical development and commercialization of CMX157. CMX157 is a highly potent analog of the successful antiviral drug tenofovir DF (Viread®).
Under the agreement, ContraVir licenses CMX157 from Chimerix in exchange for an upfront payment consisting of 120,000 shares of ContraVir preferred stock with a stated value of $1.2 million. In addition, Chimerix is eligible to receive up to approximately $20 million in clinical, regulatory and initial commercial milestones in the United States and Europe, as well as royalties and additional milestones based on commercial sales in those territories.
CMX157 is a novel lipid acyclic nucleoside phosphonate that delivers high intracellular concentrations of the active antiviral agent tenofovir diphosphate. CMX157 is active against HBV and more than 200-fold more potent in vitro versus tenofovir against all major HIV subtypes resistant to current therapies. CMX157's novel structure results in decreased circulating levels of tenofovir, lowering systemic exposure and thereby reducing the potential for renal side effects. It has completed a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers, demonstrating a favorable safety, tolerability and drug distribution profile. ContraVir intends to develop CMX157 for HBV and HIV.
M. Michelle Berrey, M.D., M.P.H., President and Chief Executive Officer of Chimerix, commented, "As we continue our focus on developing our lead clinical asset brincidofovir, we remain confident in the potential of CMX157 and believe that significant value will be recognized with continued development by ContraVir and its experienced team. James Sapirstein is very familiar with tenofovir, having been a part of its global launch team, and so we are also confident in his ability to create additional strategic opportunities for CMX157."
James Sapirstein, Chief Executive Officer of ContraVir, commented, "We are excited to establish this strategic collaboration with Chimerix and are happy to have them as an investor in ContraVir. We see the licensing of CMX157 as a significant first step toward building a leading pipeline of targeted antiviral therapies. Along with FV-100, our drug candidate for the treatment of shingles, we are proud that our pipeline now consists of two Phase 2 assets."
ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.