SIGA Technologies, Inc. (SIGA) (NASDAQ: SIGA), a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market, today announced that the United States Department of Defense (DoD), via the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense’s (JPEO-CBRND) Joint Project Manager for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Medical (JPM CBRN Medical), has increased research and development funding to approximately $23 million in connection with the DoD contract to support work necessary to gain a potential label expansion from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for TPOXX® (tecovirimat) for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in addition to the current approved labeling for the treatment of smallpox.
The use of TPOXX for PEP could provide significant potential benefit in the event of a smallpox pandemic or outbreak. While vaccines would play an important role in containing the spread of smallpox, they are only effective if administered prior to infection or no later than four days after infection. However, symptoms of smallpox do not typically appear until approximately 14 days post-infection, and there is currently no diagnostic test to determine infection prior to symptom onset. Given the uncertainty of an individual’s infection status in that two-week period, and the highly contagious nature of smallpox, the administration of a vaccine in combination with TPOXX could be an important strategy for reducing morbidity and mortality in a smallpox outbreak.
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