Chimerix Awarded NIH Grant to Fund Drug Development for Multi-Drug Resistant HIV Infection


SAN DIEGO -- Chimerix Inc., a biotechnology company

developing orally available, targeted medicines for the treatment of smallpox,

multi-drug resistant HIV and hepatitis virus infections, today announced that

it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant

under the Advanced Technology Program of the U.S. National Institute of

Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health


The SBIR Advanced Technology Program at NIAID is designed to provide

support for the research and development of new disease treatments that have

the potential to succeed as commercial products. Chimerix will use the two

year, $600,000 grant to support preclinical development of drug candidates for

the treatment of multi-drug resistant HIV-1 infection.

"Multi-drug resistant HIV infection is an increasing medical concern, as a

significant number of AIDS patients harbor an HIV virus resistant to currently

approved anti-retroviral drugs," said George Painter, PhD, president and CEO

of Chimerix. "New classes of anti-retroviral drugs are needed to combat these

drug-resistant HIV strains. Chimerix's technology offers a new approach to

the development of orally available, low toxicity HIV drugs, and we are

pleased to receive this funding from NIAID to advance our HIV program."

Chimerix's multi-drug resistant HIV-1 infection drug candidates are

derivatives of Phosphonoformic acid (PFA), a broad-spectrum antiviral drug

that has been shown to inhibit HIV-1 reverse transcriptase through a different

mechanism than currently available reverse transcriptase inhibitors. PFA has

not previously been developed for treatment of HIV infection due to modest

potency, poor oral availability and toxicity resulting from the high plasma

levels required to achieve antiviral activity. By modifying PFA with

proprietary chemistry, Chimerix has created potent, orally available drug

candidates that inhibit drug-resistant strains of HIV.

Chimerix uses proprietary chemistry to modify drugs so that the resulting

molecules mimic natural lipid metabolites. The "Chimerix" molecules (half

drug/half carrier) are absorbed from the intestine intact, and distributed

throughout the body utilizing natural processes for the uptake and

distribution of lipids. Once internalized by cells in tissues, the lipid

carrier portions of the molecules are released through the action of enzymes

involved in cellular lipid metabolism.

Chimerix Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company creating and

developing orally available medicines from bioactive molecules. Application

of Chimerix's proprietary technology enhances oral availability, stabilizes

drug in plasma and facilitates the delivery of drugs into targeted tissues.

Source: Chimerix Inc.

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