Siga and USAMRIID
Siga Technologies announced this month that they have entered in to an agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases to study the post-exposure prophylactic use of TPOXX.
TPOXX is currently being stockpiled by the government as a treatment for smallpox, and is the first, and only, FDA-approved smallpox antiviral treatment. There is also currently an IV formulation under development.
The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) allows SIGA to work with officials at USAMRIID to conduct animal studies under Good Laboratory Practices as required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In individuals already infected with smallpox, the vaccine must be administered within three to four days of infection to be effective. In contrast, as a therapeutic designed to treat smallpox infection, TPOXX has a wider window of efficacy and the studies with the U.S. Army will examine if it can be given at the same time as the vaccine.
“The recent approval for TPOXX was for treatment of smallpox, and we now have the opportunity to expand that to treating people earlier,” said Phil Gomez, SIGA CEO. Although there has been little emphasis to create a diagnostic test for smallpox that works prior to the appearance of symptoms, the opportunity to now use TPOXX for treatment during the asymptomatic phase is an important reason to develop one, Gomez said.