MP-TMT continues one of two Ebola MCM developments

A segment of the Department of Defense dealing with chemical and biological defense projects has decided to continue with only one of two Ebola medical countermeasure development efforts.

The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies completed a comprehensive evaluation of its medical countermeasures for the Ebola virus. The program determined that it would continue with the development through Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

"The decision to down select at this time was strategic and crucial," David E. Hough, the joint project manager for JPM-TMT, said. "The (hemorrhagic fever virus) acquisition strategy has always included a down selection prior to entering the next phase of development but near term programmatic issues required an earlier than planned decision."

The Hemorrhagic Fever Virus-Therapeutics Medical Countermeasures acquisition program targets the Ebola virus and the Marburg virus as models for testing post-exposure therapeutics for all HFVs. Both viruses are considered serious threats by the DOD for their potential use as biological warfare agents.

"Our job is to ensure we're making the most out of every dollar we spend," Hough said. "We evaluated each contractor's efforts independently. The evaluation was conducted using all current data and in accordance with the criteria set forth in the awarded contracts and as stated in the initial solicitation. This was certainly a tough decision but the final decision was made to move forward on continuing the development of the drug candidate that represents the best value to the government based on what we know today."