ContraVir Strengthens Its Board of Directors with the Addition of Virology Expert, Scientist, and Entrepreneur, Timothy M. Block, Ph.D.
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 Directors
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.