May 9, 2014

Durham drug developer Chimerix posts 1Q loss

Durham antiviral drug developer Chimerix posts a 1Q loss as it moves forward with its lead drug, brincidofovir, which is being developed to counter fatal viruses and bioterror attacks.

Chimerix, a 12-year-old drug developer with no products on the market, posted a $10.1 million first quarter loss as the company pushes ahead to win approval for its lead candidate, brincidofovir.

The potentially lifesaving drug recently gained the Durham company international media attention after the family of dying boy mounted a successful social media campaign to obtain the unapproved antiviral for the child on an experimental basis.

Brincidofovir is being developed to prevent fatal virus infections in certain cell transplant patients, the primary focus for Chimerix. The drug is not expected to win regulatory approval for public use until late 2016 at the earliest.

The experimental treatment is also being tested as a potential cure to infections of adenovirus, which causes the common cold in healthy people but can be fatal to patients with compromised immune systems. Brincidofovir attacks potent viruses without the toxic side effects of cidofovir, the primary medication in use today.

The first patient to receive the drug in pilot trial to cure viral infections was Josh Hardy, 8, the four-time cancer survivor whose family lobbied to gain access to brincidofovir. The boy has since been released from the hospital.

Chimerix’s first quarter loss was expected and is comparable to the $9.1 million first quarter loss in 2013.

Chimerix also said its revenue fell to to $780,000 in the first quarter from $1.8 million in the first quarter a year earlier. The decline was primarily caused by reduced reimbursable expenses from Chimerix’s ongoing contract with the federal government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA.

The federal authority is Chimerix’s sole source of funding and is supporting development of brincidofovir as a weapon against bioterrorism.

Chimerix’s stock dipped to $15.48, down 69 cents, in mid-morning trading.

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