BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has received a $35m contract to continue developing BCX4430, a drug that has shown early signs of fighting the Ebola virus.
BCX4430 is an RNA dependent-RNA polymerase inhibitor that has showed broad-spectrum activity in vitro against more than 20 RNA viruses in nine different families such as filoviruses, togaviruses, bunyaviruses, arenaviruses, paramyxoviruses, coronaviruses and flaviviruses.
The contract was awarded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
BioCryst president and chief executive officer Jon Stonehouse said: “BCX4430 currently represents the only single drug that has demonstrated a survival benefit in non-human primates infected with Marburg or Ebola viruses.
“This new BARDA contract provides continuity in the ongoing development of our broad spectrum antiviral, ‘4430, and moves this program closer to the finish line.”
The 18-month ASPR/BARDA contract includes a base value of $12.1m to support manufacturing, as well as $22.9m in additional development options that can be exercised by the government.
The deal is mainly focused on drug manufacturing, including process improvement, scale up and manufacture of BCX4430 in the US.
BCX4430 will be used in clinical studies and non-clinical toxicology trials supporting the filing of a new drug application (NDA) with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for both intravenous (i.v.) and intramuscular (i.m.) formulations of the drug.
It is currently being evaluated as a potential treatment for diseases caused by RNA pathogens, including filoviruses.