BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) has inked a contract with the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for the development of BCX4430. The
candidate is the lead compound in BioCryst's broad-spectrum
antiviral research program, and is being developed for the
treatment for Marburg virus disease.
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We note that the NIAID has already made an initial award of $5
million to BioCryst from the total funding of $22 million over
five years. The total funding amount depends on the exercising of
all contract options.
BioCryst's main purpose for collaborating with NIAID is to file
investigational new drug (IND) applications for BCX4430 for the
treatment of marburg virus disease. BioCryst also plans to
initiate phase I studies on the candidate under the contract
In Nov 2012, BioCryst announced positive results from a
preclinical study on BCX4430. Results from the study revealed
that the candidate was efficacious and well-tolerated in a
disease model against yellow fever virus infection.
We remind investors that BCX4430 is being developed under the
company's collaboration with U.S. government agencies following
the Animal Rule regulatory pathway.
Apart from BCX4430, BioCryst also has peramivir and ulodesine in
its pipeline. While peramivir is being developed for the
treatment of influenza, ulodesine is being developed for the
treatment of gout. We expect investor focus to stay on the
BioCryst presently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Meanwhile,
companies such as
Gilead Sciences Inc.
Biogen Idec Inc.
) look better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).