AVI BioPharma Discloses Potential New Virus Contract With U.S. Government
AVI BioPharma, Inc., a developer of RNA-based therapeutics, yesterday filed a current report on Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission providing the following disclosure:
On July 14, 2010, AVI BioPharma, Inc. (the "Company") was awarded a new contract with the U.S. Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program through the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command for the advanced development of the Company's hemorrhagic fever virus therapeutic candidates, AVI-6002 and AVI-6003, for Ebola and Marburg viruses, respectively. The contract is funded as part of the Transformational Medical Technologies (TMT) program, which was pioneered to develop innovative platform-based solutions countering biological threats.
The contract is structured into four segments with potential funding of up to approximately $291 million. Activity under the first segment is to begin immediately and provides for funding to the Company of up to approximately $80 million. After completion of the first segment, and each successive segment, TMT has the option to proceed to the next segment for either or both AVI-6002 and AVI-6003. If TMT exercises its options for all four segments, contract activities would include all clinical and licensure activities necessary to obtain FDA regulatory approval of each therapeutic candidate and would provide for a total funding award to the Company of up to approximately $291 million.
The contract was granted in response to proposals the Company submitted to a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued in November 2009 and initially submitted by the Company in February 2010. Under an earlier contract the Company completed development activities that culminated in the opening of Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for both AVI-6002 and AVI-6003.
AVI-6002 and AVI-6003 are RNA-based therapeutic candidates from the Company's anti-infective portfolio and use AVI's proprietary PMOplus chemistry.