Gates Foundation to fund Chimerix drug trial on Ebola patients in Africa

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced Wednesday that it has committed $5.7 million to evaluate Chimerix’s drug brincidofovir and other potential treatments for the Ebola virus in Guinea and other African countries affected by the recent outbreak.

The money will help scale up the production and drug trials of the drugs in coordination with national health authorities and the World Health Organization.

Durham-based Chimerix announced last week that it will test its experimental antiviral on Ebola-stricken patients in West Africa in a clinical trial to be run by Oxford University.

The drug, brincidofovir, is one of two to be tested in the clinical trial. The trial will be funded by the Wellcome Trust and led by Oxford University on behalf of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium, or ISARIC, with operating support from Doctors Without Borders.

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the study of brincidofovir on Ebola patients in a trial that would be focused in Europe and the United States.

Brincidofovir was developed against small pox, adenovirus and cytomegalovirus, and only recently emerged as a potential treatment against Ebola, which has exhibited a 70 percent mortality rate in countries in West Africa.

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