BioCryst receives another $2.5 million to develop Marburg virus drug

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has received an additional $2.5 million in federal funding to further develop a treatment for Marburg virus disease.

The Durham drug development company announced Monday that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has exercised its option to provide additional funding on top of the $5 million it awarded BioCryst in September. The new funding aims to enable BioCryst to advance the development of its experimental treatment to the point that it can submit an investigational new drug application, which is required before clinical trials can begin.

NAID, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, eventually could provide up to $22 million in funding for the experimental drug, BCX4430, if it exercises all its options.

Marburg virus disease, discovered in 1967, is a rare, potentially fatal hemorrhagic fever with symptoms similar to the Ebola virus disease.

BioCryst has no drugs available in the U.S. but announced earlier this month that it has submitted a new drug application for its flu treatment Peramivir.

That marked a remarkable turnaround from earlier in the year, when the company suspended development of Peramivir in the wake of inconclusive test results. But the company reversed course after federal regulators outlined a path for filing a new drug application for Peramivir, whose development received $235 million in funding from the federal government.

BioCryst shares were trading at $7.65, up 15 cents, Monday afternoon. Its shares have risen more than 400 percent this year.