Department of Defense advances hemorrhagic fever countermeasures

The U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program Manager Transformational Medical Technologies recently lauded the ongoing success of its development of platform-based medical countermeasure capabilities against hemorrhagic fever viruses.

The JPM-TMT's Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Therapeutics Medical Countermeasures, or HFV-Tx MCM, Acquisition Program, targets viruses in the family Filoviridae, which includes Ebola and Marburg.

Strains of both viruses are of concern to military planners because they are often deadly, cause extreme hardship and have the potential to be used as biological weapons. U.S. forces are often deployed to regions where hemorrhagic fever virus outbreaks are prevalent.

The HFV-Tx MCM Acquisition Program tests the development of rapidly adaptable, platform-based, post-exposure prophylaxis and therapeutics for all types of known filoviruses. Its goal is to find an MCM platform that can be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to mitigate the effects of these viruses. JPM-TMT said that it is changing the traditional "one drug, one bug" approach to "one drug, many bugs."

The JPM-TMT is the only U.S. government agency that is currently testing post-exposure drug treatments against Ebola, Marburg and other genetically similar viruses. The FDA has accepted three new Investigational New Drug filings for such treatments. Three therapeutic candidates are currently undergoing Phase I clinical trials to assess their safety in humans.

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