Chimerix announced Monday that the federal government plans to award it a 60-month contract worth $100 million to produce treatment courses of its experimental antiviral drug brincidofovir for defense against the spread of smallpox disseminated by a bioterror attack or accidental release.
Chimerix said it is to be the sole recipient of the contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The Durham drug developer is to deliver treatments of brincidofovir to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Strategic National Stockpile.
The contract includes an option for BARDA to request a maximum of 1.7 million treatment courses. If BARDA exercises all the options in the contract, it could be worth $435 million. Chimerix said the contract could be awarded by the end of September.
The company’s stock rose $1.23, or 3.4 percent, on the news to close Monday at $37.69. The shares are down 6 percent this year.
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Chimerix has no drugs on the market but is developing brincidofovir for range of possible public health applications, including using it to fight infections of cytomegalovirus and adenovirus in transplant patients and patients with compromised immune systems.
The drug could be commercially available as early as next year.
Chimerix also plans to begin clinical trials in the second half of the year that will test brincidofovir as a treatment for kidney transplant recipients at risk of infection.
The company reported first-quarter earnings early Monday that beat Wall Street estimates.
Chimerix reported a net loss of $22.3 million, or 54 cents per share, compared with a loss of $10.4 million, or 39 cents per share, during the first quarter of 2014. Revenue was $1.2 million in the quarter, compared with $780,000 during the same period last year.
The consensus among analysts who cover the company was a loss of 58 cents and revenue of $1.15 million.
The rise in revenue in the quarter was the result of increase in reimbursable expenses associated with Chimerix’s existing contract with BARDA. In 2011, Chimerix was awarded a contract to develop brincidofovir as a potential treatment for small pox. That 5-year contract was valued at $81.1 million if BARDA exercised all its options.
Chimerix had $267.2 million in cash at the end of March.