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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.