BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX) announced the receipt of additional funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (:NIAID) to advance the development of the company’s pipeline candidate, BCX4430. NIAID has exercised an option, representing another $2.5 million of funding to BioCryst, to develop BCX4430 for the treatment of Marburg virus disease.
We note that NIAID has already made an initial award of $5 million to BioCryst in Sep 2013. As per the contract, NIAID can fund up to $22 million (in the event of all contract options being excercised) over five years for BCX4430’s development.
BioCryst’s main purpose of collaborating with NIAID is to file an investigational new drug (IND) application for BCX4430 for the treatment of Marburg virus disease. BioCryst also plans to initiate phase I studies on the candidate under the contract agreement.
In Nov 2012, BioCryst announced positive results from a preclinical study on BCX4430. Results from the study revealed that the candidate was efficacious and well-tolerated in a disease model against yellow fever virus infection.
We remind investors that BCX4430 is being developed under the company’s collaboration with U.S. government agencies following the Animal Rule regulatory pathway.
Apart from BCX4430, BioCryst also has peramivir and ulodesine in its pipeline. Earlier in the month the company filed a New Drug Application (:NDA) for peramivir to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (:FDA). BioCryst is looking to get peramivir approved for the treatment of adults suffering from acute uncomplicated influenza.
Once approved, BioCryst plans to launch peramivir in the U.S. during the 2014-15 influenza season. The drug is already approved in Japan and Korea for the treatment of influenza. Meanwhile, ulodesine is being developed for the treatment of gout. We expect investor focus to remain on the company’s pipeline going forward.
BioCryst presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks worth considering include Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ), Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI) and ImmunoGen, Inc. (IMGN). All the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).