The Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies (JPM-TMT), a component of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD), has awarded a $3.9 million contract to Sarepta Therapeutics to evaluate the feasibility of intramuscular (IM) administration of the company’s drug candidate AVI-7288 for treatment of Marburg virus.
While the development of AVI-7288 has seen unprecedented achievement as a potential medical countermeasure for Marburg, so far only the intravenous (IV) method of delivery has been utilized. The possibility of IM injections could reduce the logistical burden of administering the drug, as this method is both easier and quicker to administer. The IV route takes up to one hour while IM administration takes only seconds.
Through its Hemorrhagic Fever Virus-Therapeutics Medical Countermeasures acquisition program (HFV-Tx MCM), JPM-TMT is targeting Marburg as a model for testing the development of rapidly adaptable platform-based, post-exposure therapeutics for other hemorrhagic fever viruses.
“Developing a treatment for the highly lethal Marburg virus infection is ground-breaking,” said David E. Hough, Joint Project Manager for JPM-TMT. “JPM-TMT is the only U.S. government agency testing a post-exposure drug candidate against this dangerous disease. Our goal is to successfully develop a therapeutic for the Marburg virus infection using platform technologies that will ultimately have the capacity to rapidly respond to outbreaks of all HFVs as well as other biological pathogens. Both our Warfighters and the nation stand to benefit from our unique approach.”