The compound CMX521 significantly reduced lung viral titer and symptoms in a SARS-CoV-2 mouse model, as reported by biomedical company Chimerix in collaboration with the Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill. UNC School of Medicine faculty Nat Moorman, PhD, and Mark Heise, PhD, are key researchers in this program.
Chimerix in collaboration with the Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative (READDI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, announced that preclinical data from the company’s CMX521 program will be featured in a late-breaking oral presentation session at the International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
“The joint effort between the research teams at both Chimerix and READDI has led to these very promising early results in an animal model that we believe supports rapid advancement of CMX521 to clinical proof-of-concept against SARS-CoV-2 where there remains a need for novel therapies with improved efficacy, safety and/or resistance profiles,” said Mike Sherman, CEO of Chimerix. “This agent is particularly interesting in that it has demonstrated an attractive safety profile in a prior Phase 1 dose escalation trial in healthy volunteers.”
John Bamforth, PhD, of READDI and Director of the Eshelman Institute for Innovation at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, said, “These compelling data encourage us to further investigate the potential of CMX521 as a prophylactic and as a therapeutic for SARS-CoV-2 infection. We are very excited about these data and also look forward to READDI’s ongoing mission to identify novel antivirals active against entire families of viruses, including coronaviruses, flaviviruses and alphaviruses.”
Chimerix is investigating CMX521 under a research agreement with UNC School of Medicine researchers Nat Moorman, PhD, associate professor in the UNC Department of Microbiology & Immunology, and Mark Heise, PhD, professor in the UNC Department of Genetics and the UNC Department of Microbiology & Immunology.
Read the press release from Chimerix.
Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative is a global public-private partnership founded at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC School of Medicine, the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, and the Structural Genomics Consortium. READDI was created to generate new broad-spectrum antiviral therapies to save lives in the current COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent emerging viral threats from becoming global catastrophes.
**This article originally appeared in the UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom.