BioCryst receives additional funding for potential Ebola treatment

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) exercised two additional contract options on Thursday with BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to accelerate the development of BCX4430, a potential treatment for hemorrhagic fever viruses including Ebola and the Marburg virus. 

BCX4430, a RNA-dependent polymerase inhibitor, has shown promise in fighting more than 20 families of viruses, including filoviruses, togaviruses, bunyaviruses, arenaviruses, paramyxoviruses, coronaviruses and flaviviruses. 

In addition to Ebola and Marburg, BCX4430 could potentially be used to treat humans afflicted with aseptic meningitis, respiratory syncytial virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome cornavirus and West Nile virus.

The NIAID contract modification with BioCryst allows for an increase of up to $2 million to the existing contract, which was signed in September 2013. If all options are exercised in the five-year contract, it will have a value of $26.3 million. Approximately $19.9 million has been awarded to date.

The BXC4430 project is part of BioCryst's BSAV research program to develop broad-sprectrum parenteral and oral therapeutics for viruses that pose a threat to health and national security.