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BioCryst, NIAID Collaborate for BCX4430

Zacks Equity Research

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX) has inked a contract with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (:NIAID) for the development of BCX4430. The candidate is the lead compound in BioCryst's broad-spectrum antiviral research program, and is being developed for the treatment for Marburg virus disease.

We note that the NIAID has already made an initial award of $5 million to BioCryst from the total funding of $22 million over five years. The total funding amount depends on the exercising of all contract options.

BioCryst’s main purpose for collaborating with NIAID is to file investigational new drug (IND) applications 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. While peramivir is being developed for the treatment of influenza, ulodesine is being developed for the treatment of gout. We expect investor focus to stay on the company’s pipeline.

BioCryst presently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Meanwhile, companies such as Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) look better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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