By WRAL Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – It’s been a pretty good week for Chimerix.

The Durham pharma company on Wednesday was awarded a contract by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the advanced development of Chimerix’s broad spectrum antiviral drug candidate, CMX001, as a medical countermeasure in the event of a smallpox release.

Under the terms of the contract, Chimerix will receive committed funding of $24.8 million during the first year with subsequent option periods that, if completed, would bring the total contract value to $81.1 million.

Chimerix announced Monday the completion of a $45 million round of financing led by New Leaf Venture Partners and other investment firms. Investors participating include Pappas Ventures and Morningside Group as well as Canaan Partners, Sanderling Ventures, Alta Partners, Asset Management Company and Frazier Healthcare Ventures.

Proceeds from this financing will be used to support the development of Chimerix’s two clinical-stage candidates, CMX001 and CMX157.

CMX001 is a potential dual-use therapeutic with biodefense and commercial applications. CMX001 has demonstrated evidence of antiviral activity against numerous double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses. Such viruses include adenovirus, herpes viruses (cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus and Epstein Barr virus), polyoma viruses (BK virus and JC virus), and poxviruses, such as smallpox.

Funds from the BARDA contract initially will be used to support expanded safety studies of CMX001, including the recently initiated CMX001-350 study.

The funding from BARDA builds upon the $37 million Chimerix previously received from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for development of CMX001 for smallpox.

This is Chimerix’s first contract with BARDA and positions CMX001 for possible procurement as a medical countermeasure for the Strategic National Stockpile.

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