UPDATE: The drug company Chimerix has reversed its decision to deny Josh Hardy, 7, access to experimental medication that doctors say could save his life after an outpouring of public support for the boy.
The decision was announced by the company's CEO, Kenneth Moch.
This 20-patient open-label study underscores Chimerix's mission to develop innovative antiviral therapies in areas of high unmet need -- for everyone... Being unable to fulfill requests for compassionate use is excruciating, and not a decision any one of us ever wants to have to make. It is essential that each individual in a health crisis be treated with equal gravity and value, a principle we have upheld by pursuing further clinical study of brincidofovir that will inform its use in adenovirus and other serious DNA viral infections.
Hardy's mother, Aimee, said she is "tremendously excited" by the new development:
We're just looking forward to the great success of the drug and the great success of the company to help other people, just tremendously excited... As hard as we were as a group on the company, we're going to push Josh to continue to do his best so that he can make that full recovery.
[End of update.]
Seven-year-old Josh Hardy has survived kidney cancer four times, heart failure and an excruciating bone marrow transplant.
But now he is battling the adenovirus with a weakened immune system and the pharmaceutical company Chimerix is withholding the anti-viral drug that could save his life.
The company has received $72 million in tax payer dollars to develop the drug and have provided it to hundreds patients in the past, but now they have suspended that practice so they can expedite FDA approval and rush it to market.
The company's CEO, Kenneth Moch, is aware of the situation but has said that even a bed-side visit to the dying boy would not change his mind about withholding Brincidofovir for "compassionate use."
As we progressed to larger and more complex safety trials, we made the decision two years ago to stop the [compasionate use] program and focus resources on earning FDA approval
Josh's mother Aimee Hardy said that if Moch did visit her son, he would see a child in horrible pain who just wants to live.
He would see a frail little boy who has a very weak voice and has a hard time staying awake, because he's in so much pain and to combat the pain he has to be on a lot of pain medication, so he's drowsy. It's horrible for us as parents to see, because he's a vibrant, strong little boy, and even though he is frail, he has a very strong will about him. But things just keep stacking against him, and we just want to do everything we can to give him the opportunity to make a full recovery.
Hardy is encouraging supporters to contact Chimerix and speak out publicly in favor of expanding the availability of the drug for compassionate use on Twitter by using the hashtag #savejosh and tweeting @chimerix.
Chimerix can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (919) 806-1074.
Via Fox News