BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, a small drug developer in Durham, announced this week that it is eligible to receive $4 million in addition federal research funds to accelerate the development of a potential treatment for the deadly virus Ebola.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has exercised two additional options under its contract with BioCryst to test its experimental antiviral drug, which is known by the code BCX4430.
The antiviral is to be tested for safety in humans and for effectiveness in primates as a treatment for the lethal family of viruses called hemorrhagic fever viruses, of which Ebola is the most feared. The drug is also being developed as a potential treatment for the Marburg virus disease.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is part of the National Institutes of Health.
The amendments made to BioCryst’s agreement with NIAID bring the value of the contract up to $26.3 million, if all options are exercised. About $19.9 million has been awarded to date under the contract.