BioCryst Pharmaceuticals announced on Monday that it has begun Phase I clinical trials of BCX4430, a possible treatment for hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola.
The randomized, placebo-controlled testing include the injection of BCX4430 into the muscular system of healthy volunteers. This stage of testing will determine whether the doses of the compound are safe and at which point the dosage become too high.
During the first part of the trial, volunteers will take a single dose. In the second part, separate volunteers will be administered the drug for seven days. Over the course of the trial, 88 volunteers will be evaluated in up to six single-dose cohorts and up to four multiple-dose cohorts.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are funding the Phase 1 trials.
BCX4430 is an RNA polymerase inhibitor that has shown promise in a laboratory setting against more than 20 individual viruses and multiple families of viruses including bunyaviruses — which includes Crimean – Congo HFV — and filoviruses, which includes the Ebola and Marburg viruses.
Hemorrhagic fever viruses are considered highly dangerous by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and spontaneous bleeding and/or bruising. Infections of this kind are spread through contact with infected bodily fluids.