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Drug Maker Working on Smallpox Treatment

The federal government has awarded drug maker Chimerix a nearly $25 million grant to develop an anti-viral drug for smallpox.

The Durham-based company’s lead candidate is a drug called CMX001. Chimerix President and CEO Kenneth Moch says the government wants the treatment ready in case of a smallpox outbreak as the result of a bioterrorist attack.

"CMX001 is being developed for the most life-threatening situations or for patients who are at risk of having a life threatening complication. The evidence suggests so far that we have the potential to either prevent an outbreak of some of these viruses, or potentially to eliminate the viruses from some of the patients who receive the drug."

Moch says the drug could be approved by 2013 in a best case scenario. And he says Chimerix will be adding 10 to 15 employees to its already 35 full time workers this year.

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