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Chimerix Preps $150M Stock Sale to Match Rising R&D

Xconomy Raleigh-Durham — 

Antiviral drug developer Chimerix plans to raise up to $150 million through a stock offering as the company presses forward with its lead drug candidate on multiple fronts.

Chimerix (NASDAQ: CMRX) has not yet set a date for the offering, nor has it said how much stock it will sell and at what price. While the Durham, NC-based company has made headway in trials of its antiviral, brincidofovir, the clinical program has been burning through cash. In the first quarter, Chimerix reported $17.4 million in research and development expenses, nearly twice what it spent in the same period in 2014. Those costs are only going to increase as the company ramps up to study its drug in four separate late-stage studies. In a securities filing, the company said that its research and development expenses in 2015 will “significantly exceed” prior years, and could reach up to $125 million.

The Chimerix drug is being studied in those with weakened immune systems, such as transplant patients, who face a increased risk of viral infection. A Phase 3 clinical trial studying brincidofovir as a treatment for cytomegalovirus infection has reached the targeted enrollment, and initial trial results are expected early next year. A separate late-stage study evaluating the experimental antiviral as a treatment for adenovirus has been underway, and is now expanding into Europe and Australia.

Meanwhile, Chimerix is planning to study brincidofovir in two additional late-stage trials, this time in kidney transplant patients. Those trials, studying the drug as a way of preventing cytomegalovirus infection, are expected to start in the second half of the year.

Chimerix said that its higher R&D costs will include expenses related to manufacturing the drug for all of the studies, bringing on personnel to staff those studies, and preparation for a filing with the FDA for drug approval.