RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has exercised its option to purchase an additional 10,000 doses of BioCryst Pharmaceutical’s approved antiviral influenza therapy, RAPIVAV.

Research Triangle Park-based  BioCryst  (Nasdaq:BCRX) said the delivery of the RAPIVAB will add approximately $14 million to the company, by the end of 2019. The order is a needed boost for the company, which has experienced some financial ups and downs.

“This $14 million in non-dilutive capital from the U.S. government is important to BioCryst as we continue to actively evaluate several additional opportunities to bolster our balance sheet by the end of 2019 to support our exciting progress across multiple programs,” said CEO Jon Stonehouse, in the company’s announcement.

The RAPIVAB purchase by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will supply the Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s largest supply of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency.

“RAPIVAB is an important antiviral with proven benefits for influenza patients, and we appreciate the opportunity to fulfill these orders for HHS as they support patients and our national security,” said Stonehouse.

Purchase part of a five-year, $34.7M CDC contract

The orders are part of a $34.7 million contract that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded for the procurement of up to 50,000 doses of RAPIVAB (peramivir injection) over a five-year period.

Durham-based Biocryst appoints rare disease expert to board

RAPIVAB is approved in the United States for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in patients 2 years and older who have been symptomatic for no more than two days. It is administered via an intravenous infusion.

Efficacy of RAPIVAB is based on clinical trials of naturally occurring influenza in which the predominant influenza infections were influenza A virus and a limited number of patients infected with influenza B virus.

BioCryst discovers novel, oral small-molecule medicines that treat rare diseases in which significant unmet medical needs exist and an enzyme plays a key role in the biological pathway of the disease. BioCryst has several ongoing development programs including BCX7353, an oral treatment for hereditary angioedema. That’s a rare disease characterized by repeated episodes of severe swelling of the limbs, airway, face and other parts of the body.

Biocryst executive John Bluth, who handles its investor relations, tells the Biotech Center that the company expects to grow to support the launch of BCX7353 next year.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center