After Pressure, Drug Company, Chimerix, says it Will Provide Medicine for 7-year-old Boy

Cancer survivor Josh Hardy, 7, of Fredericksburg, Va., pictured in his hospital room in St. Jude Children's Research Center in December, before he underwent a bone marrow transplant. (Photo: Family photo)
Cancer survivor Josh Hardy, 7, of Fredericksburg, Va., pictured in his hospital room in St. Jude Children’s Research Center in December, before he underwent a bone marrow transplant. (Photo: Family photo)

A North Carolina drug manufacturer will give a potentially life-saving medication to a 7-year-old boy whose case led thousands of people to apply pressure to the company.

Josh Hardy, of Fredericksburg, Va., who is fighting an adenovirus infection after a bone marrow transplant, will get the experimental antiviral drug brincidofovir as the first patient in a new pilot study, according to the company, Chimerix, of Durham, N.C.

Josh’s family, who are with him at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, immediately thanked supporters on Facebook: “You did it. You Saved Josh. Thank you Chimerix and Josh’s Army.” The family had recruited support through social media and news stories over the past few days.

In a statement, the hospital confirmed that the company has promised to send the medication within 48 hours. The company previously turned down multiple requests from Josh’s doctors to provide the medication outside of a study — under so-called “compassionate use” rules.

On Monday, Chimerix president and CEO Kenneth Moch said that saying yes to Josh would mean having to say yes to other similar patients, straining the resources the company has available for clinical trials that could lead to the drug’s approval and ultimately get it to many more patients. And he said Josh did not qualify for the study the company had underway in adults with a different infection.

Under the plan announced Tuesday, Josh will get the medication as one of 20 people in a new study, Chimerix says. It says the plan has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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SOURCE: Kim Painter
USA TODAY

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