The $13 million, 15-month contract extension follows an initial award in February 2011 to explore the use of brincidofovir in treating smallpox in animal models and another $17 million contract extension in September 2014.
"Our partnership with BARDA has resulted in significant progress for brincidofovir as a medical countermeasure for smallpox in the event of a bioterror attack or accidental release," Dr. M. Michele Berrey, president and CEO of Chimerix, said. "This award will continue to support our brincidofovir smallpox development program for which we recently reported positive topline results showing a statistically significant survival benefit. This is an important step toward a potential FDA approval as the first antiviral treatment for smallpox."
Approximately 1 billion people died from the smallpox virus until it was eradicated on a global scale in 1980 following a worldwide vaccination campaign. Currently one lab in the Russian Federation and one in the U.S. house samples of the disease for research purposes. No approved treatment exists for smallpox, and it could pose a threat to public health if it were to emerge or if it were utilized as a biological weapon.