JPM-TMT Awards New Contract to Study Administration using Marburg Virus Drug

Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. Will Investigate feasibility of Delivery via Intramuscular Route

FORT BELVOIR, Va., Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A contract to evaluate an alternative method for delivering a medical countermeasure (MCM) was awarded to Sarepta Therapeutics by the Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies (JPM-TMT).  A component of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD), JPM-TMT has made significant progress in the development of a therapeutic to fight the highly lethal Marburg virus.  During the course of developing the drug candidate thus far, the intravenous (IV) method of delivery is being utilized.  This new $3.9 million contract will evaluate the feasibility of an intramuscular (IM) route, a more practical administration of a drug.

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John Anderson, Product Manager of JPM-TMT's Hemorrhagic Fever Virus-Therapeutics Medical Countermeasures acquisition program, commented on the development of the drug candidate. "With AVI-7288 showing survival rates up to four days post infection, we are eager to determine whether it is feasible to deliver a drug intramuscularly—a route that could reduce the logistical burden of administering the medical countermeasure to our Warfighter. IM delivery is both easier and quicker to administer.  The IV route takes up to one hour while IM administration takes just seconds. The potential for efficient treatment in a mass casualty situation is obvious."

There is no treatment for infection caused by Marburg virus, a member of the Filoviridae family of Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses (HFV).  The disease is characterized by high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, diarrhea, and in some cases, massive hemorrhaging and organ dysfunction. 

"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."

Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies (JPM-TMT)

JPM-TMT is a component of the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD). JPM-TMT aims to protect the Warfighter from emerging infectious diseases, genetically altered, and unknown biological threats. Through strategic investments and partnerships with innovative biotech firms, pharmaceutical corporations, other government agencies, and academic institutions, JPM-TMT facilitates the advanced development and acquisition of adaptable platform technologies, broad-spectrum medical countermeasures, and innovative systems to enhance our nation's biodefense response capability. For more information, visit www.jpmtmt.mil.

SOURCE Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies




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