Tekmira Pharmaceuticals this week announced the release of new preclinical data showing that the company's RNAi-based Marburg virus drug could prevent death in non-human primates infected with a lethal dose of the pathogen.
The animals were infected with the virus, then given 0.5 mg/kg doses of the drug — TKM-Marburg — once a day for seven days 72 hours later. All of the treated primates survived.
Previously, Tekmira and collaborators at the University of Texas Medical Branch showed that TKM-Marburg could offer complete protection from lethal Marburg infection when given 24 hours and 48 hours after exposure.
In a presentation at the 6th International Symposium of Filoviruses this week, Tekmira Chief Technology Officer Ian MacLachlan said that forthcoming studies will test TKM-Marburg's efficacy in non-human primates 96 hours after Marburg infection.
Tekmira currently has a treatment for another filovirus, Ebola, in Phase I development. As reported by Gene Silencing News, the company recently received a National Institutes of Health grant to develop a single RNAi agent against both Ebola and Marburg viruses.