Antivirals developer Chimerix (NASDAQ:CMRX) has high hopes for CMX001, its lead candidate whose broad-spectrum of activity shows potential against a number of double-standed DNA viruses.
The U.S. government is studying CMX001 as a bioterror countermeasure against smallpox; in May a Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) contract funding that work was extended 12 months.
But the Research Triangle Park company is also plugging away at its own efforts to develop other applications for the CMX001. A phase III trial studying the antiviral as a treatment to prevent cytomegalovirus infection in patients who have received blood or bone marrow transplants is slated to start in the third quarter. On Wednesday the company released top-line phase II results studying CMX001 as a preventive threapy for another infection, adenovirus infection.
In this trial, CMX001 did not show results that were statistically significant compared to a placebo. But during a conference call to discuss second quarter results, company executives expressed excitement about the results.
To a point.
The data has been accepted for presenation at the upcoming Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy meeting, or ICAAC. Chimerix CEO Ken Moch said that in accordance with ICAAC embargo policies, Chimerix would not discuss detailed findings of the trial until they are released at the Denver conference, which runs from Sept. 10 through 13.
One analyst pressed the point, however, and Chief Medical Officer Michelle Berrey took the question. She said the results showed numerical improvement in reducing adenovirus levels in the blood, among other measures that showed the CMX001 group performed favorably over the placebo arm. But she would not offer more.
“For further details on that, we’re going to have to wait for the ICAAC presentation,” she said.
Moch did tell analysts that the results of the exploratory study are consistent with Chimerix’s understanding of CMX001’s activity and support continued development of the compound as a broad spectrum antiviral for double-stranded DNA viruses, including adenovirus and cytomegalovirus. More details will come at the September conference.
Chimerix, which went public earlier this year, reported a net loss of $12.5 million, up from a $4.3 million loss in the second quarter of 2012. Revenue, in the form of BARDA funds, decreased in the quarter to $808,000 compared to $6.2 million for the same period in 2012. R&D expenses decreased to $6.3 million in the second quarter compared to $9.1 million for the same period in 2012, a change that was also related to the reduced BARDA spending.
As of June 30, Chimerix had $123 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.