In the 100 years preceding its eradication, smallpox is estimated to have killed more than 1,000,000,000 people worldwide. In what may be the greatest achievement of modern medicine, smallpox was officially declared eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1980 following a global vaccination campaign. Declared smallpox stocks remain for research purposes in freezers in the United States and Russia; however, undeclared stocks are suspected in a number of other countries as well. Due to adverse effects associated with the vaccine, routine vaccination ceased long ago. Since smallpox has been eradicated for so many years, our population could be highly susceptible to an outbreak, with devastating consequences.
Brincidofovir was originally selected for pharmaceutical development based on its activity against poxviruses in vitro and in animal models. In 2003, Chimerix began a partnership with The National Institute of Asthma and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to complete the initial work needed to begin human testing. By 2011, the collaboration with NIAID had reached its conclusion and a new partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) began with the goal to complete the development of brincidofovir as a medical countermeasure against smallpox. The Chimerix Smallpox Animal Efficacy Development Program plans to enter the equivalent of Phase 3 testing in 2014 in support of an NDA submission for brincidofovir for treatment of smallpox.