NIAID awards $5 million contract to BioCryst to develop Marburg virus treatment

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a North Carolina-based pharmaceutical company, recently announced that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded the company with a contract to develop a treatment for Marburg virus disease.

The initial $5 million contract could be worth up to $22 million over five years, if all contract options are exercised. BCX4430 is BioCryst's lead compound in its broad-spectrum antiviral research 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," William Sheridan, the chief medical officer at BioCryst, said. "We are very pleased that NIAID has selected BioCryst's BCX4430 BSAV program as an early development project in this important field."

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

BCX4430 is an RNA dependent-RNA polymerase inhibitor that previously demonstrated broad-spectrum activity for multiple viruses. The candidate has a favorable preliminary preclinical safety profile.

The project will be funded in whole or in part with funds from the NIAID, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.

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