MediVector Inc. has been awarded a maximum $9,135,695 modification to previously awarded contract HDTRA1-12-C-0031 for the capability to manufacture antiviral therapeutic Favipiravir in the U.S.
The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $211,303,678 from $202,167,983.
The investigational drug candidate Favipiravir is being developed by BioDefense Therapeutics (BD Tx), a Joint Product Manager within the Medical Countermeasure Systems (JPM-MCS) Joint Project Management Office. A component of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, JPM-MCS aims to provide U.S. military forces and the nation with safe, effective, and innovative medical solutions to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.
Favipiravir (T-705) is a novel anti-viral compound that works against a different viral enzyme target than approved antiviral agents used to treat people who have become ill with influenza. Favipiravir inhibits the enzyme viral RNA polymerase that functions to make copies of the viral RNA segments and to synthesize mRNAs that produce the proteins that will form new viruses.
Favipiravir may be useful for the treatment of influenza infections based on its potent and selective inhibitory activities against a broad spectrum of influenza A, B, and C viruses, including strains poorly susceptible to existing drugs and its efficacy against highly pathogenic avian influenza and avian influenza virus A (H5N1) isolated from humans and birds in both in vivo and in vitro studies.
Preclinical studies indicate that favipiravir may also be effective against a variety of viruses, including flaviviruses, arenaviruses, bunyaviruses and alphaviruses. Activity against enteroviruses and Rift Valley fever virus has also been demonstrated. Following the 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, the Department of Defense provided funding to investigate favipiravir as an EVD therapeutic.
Work under the contract has an expected completion date of March 13, 2017. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
Read also: Successful Treatment of Advanced Ebola Virus Infection with T-705 (Favipiravir) In A Small Animal Model (Antiviral Research)