NIAID exercises additional options for hemorrhagic fever treatment

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announced on Wednesday that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) exercised additional options to conduct Phase I clinical trials of an intramuscular formulation of its hemorrhagic fever disease treatment BCX4430.

The options, along with additional efficacy studies in non-human primates to assess effective dose rates and schedules, represent an additional $4.1 billion for BioCryst to further develop the treatment.

"The ongoing ebola epidemic in West Africa emphasizes the urgent need for safe and effective antiviral agents for hemorrhagic fever virus diseases," William Sheridan, the chief medical officer at BioCryst, said. "We look forward to the body of evidence supporting BCX4430 evolving into a highly compelling package, enabling us to attract U.S. government advanced development funding. This is critical so that a new drug application can be filed as quickly as feasible for this unique, broad spectrum antiviral."

NIAID originally granted a contract to BioCryst in September of last year valued at up to $22 million over five years. With the two additional options announced Wednesday, approximately $13.5 million of the funding has been awarded under the contract.

BioCryst specializes in the design and optimization of small molecule drugs that block enzymes involved in rare diseases.