SIGA Technologies granted DoD contract

SIGA Technologies has been awarded a $2.8 million contract from the Department of Defense's Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative to develop a broad spectrum antiviral that could aid U.S. citizens in the event of a bioattack.

The TMTI contract, which includes options for up to $9.9 million through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, will support the preclinical development and Investigation New Drug filing of ST-669.

"We appreciate DTRA's recognition of our efforts with this award," Dr. Eric Rose, CEO of SIGA said. "The government's acknowledgment and support of SIGA and other companies specializing in biodefense help to advance research of novel compounds that may play a key role in aiding U.S. citizens in the event of exposure to biological agents used in terror attacks."

ST-669 has shown in vitro antiviral activity against several different viral families, including the Poxviridae, Filoviridae, Bunyaviridae, Arenaviridae, Flaviviridae, Togaviridae, Retroviridae, and Picornaviridae families. Some of these viruses have been designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as "Category A" and Category B" viruses, which can generate high morbidity and mortality.

"While still in the early stages of development, ST-669 is showing promise as a treatment for several dangerous diseases and this award will help us further our development of this program," Dr. Dennis Hruby, chief scientific officer of SIGA, said. "There is a real need for a broad-spectrum antiviral like ST-669 to treat both the military and general population in the event of an outbreak. Although the disease itself may come from sources that are unpredictable, like a bioterror attack or an emerging virus, both origins highlight the necessity for a safe and effective countermeasure."