BioCryst receives $12 million for Ebola drug development

March 31, 2015

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded a $12 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the development and manufacture of its small molecule, BCX4430, for the prevention of Ebola virus reproduction.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded a $12 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the development and manufacture of its small molecule, BCX4430, for the prevention of Ebola virus reproduction.

Pharmacists share insights about Ebola treatment

BCX4430 was shown to be effective against the Ebola virus and Marburg virus in primate studies, which indicates the experimental drug may be able to be used as a broad spectrum antiviral agent. The drug is now in phase 1 human trials that are being funded by the National Institutes of Health. If successful, BCX4430 would be tested in clinical studies, according to HHS.

“Developing drugs and vaccines to protect against Ebola has been a long-term goal of the U.S. government,” said BARDA Director Robin Robinson, PhD, in a prepared statement. “We are making progress quickly to develop product candidates for clinical evaluation and to make products available that protect against this virus.”

BCX4430 is the first small molecule being developed to treat Ebola that is supported by BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) under HHS’ Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

BioCryst’s work on BCX4430 will continue over the next 18 months. The contract may be extended beyond that, and funding up to $35 million is available, HHS noted.

BARDA is also funding additional Ebola initiatives, including an experimental monoclonal antibody cocktail, known as ZMapp, by Mapp Pharmaceuticals, and vaccines being developed by GlaxoSmithKline, BioProtection Services/NewLink Genetics, and Profectus BioSciences.

For more information, go to https://www.fbo.gov.

Also, see:

Survey: U.S. hospitals not well prepared for Ebola patients

Pharmacists front-line defenders against Ebola anxieties