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September 17, 2013

BioCryst Wins Potentially $22M NIAID Contract to Develop Marburg Virus Disease Drug

  • The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) awarded BioCryst a contract for the development of BCX4430 as a treatment for Marburg virus disease. NIAID has made an initial award of $5 million to BioCryst, and the total funding could be up to $22 million over five years if all contract options are exercised.

    The goals of this contract are to file IND applications for intravenous and intramuscular BCX4430 for the treatment of Marburg virus disease, and to conduct an initial Phase I clinical trial. The contract supports the appropriate IND-enabling program and the initial clinical trial.

    BCX4430, an RNA dependent-RNA polymerase inhibitor that, according to BioCryst, has demonstrated broad-spectrum activity for multiple viruses and a favorable preliminary preclinical safety profile, is the lead compound in the firm's broad-spectrum antiviral (BSAV) research program. The awarding of this contract is especially good news for the firm, as it laid off half its workforce in December as part of a restructuring that aimed to refocus the company on advancing its hereditary angioedema and antiviral drug programs including the BCX4430 BSAV program.

    "Filovirus diseases such as Marburg virus hemorrhagic fever represent serious threats to national security, and the U.S. government has prioritized the development of medical countermeasures against these diseases," said William P. Sheridan, MBBS, CMO at BioCryst, in a statement. "We are very pleased that NIAID has selected BioCryst’s BCX4430 BSAV program as an early development project in this important field."

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