BioCryst gets contract for Marburg virus treatment

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (AP) — BioCryst Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday it will work with the federal government to develop a potential treatment for Marburg virus.

The company said it received $5 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Including that payment BioCryst could get as much as $22 million over the next five years.

The company intends to conduct preclinical testing of a drug called BCX4430 and run an early-stage clinical trial. It said BCX4430 is its most advanced experimental anti-viral drug.

The Marburg virus is indigenous to Africa and is spread through contact with infected animals or the bodily fluids of infected humans. Symptoms also include shock, delirium and multi-organ dysfunction. It is considered a bioterrorism threat.

Funding will come from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

BioCryst is also studying a flu treatment called peramivir, a gout drug called ulodesine, and a cancer drug called forodesine.

Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. slipped 5 cents to $6.47 in afternoon trading.

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