Profile: SIGA Technologies Inc (SIGA.OQ)
19 Dec 2014
SIGA Technologies, Inc. (SIGA), incorporated on December 28, 1995, is a pharmaceutical company specializing in the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical solutions for some of the lethal disease-causing pathogens in the world - smallpox, Ebola, dengue, Lassa fever and other dangerous viruses. Its business is to discover, develop, manufacture and successfully commercialize drugs to prevent and treat these high-priority threats. The Company's focuses to disarm dreaded viral diseases and create robust, modern biodefense countermeasures. The Company’s product include ST-246, is an orally administered antiviral drug that targets orthopoxviruses.
The Company’s lead product, ST-246, is an orally administered antiviral drug that targets orthopoxviruses. On May 13, 2011, it signed the BARDA Contract pursuant to which it agreed to deliver two million courses of ST-246 to the Strategic Stockpile. Under the BARDA Contract as modified, BARDA has agreed to buy from SIGA 1.7 million courses of ST-246. Additionally, SIGAl contributes to BARDA 300,000 courses manufactured using federal funds provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under prior development contracts.
The Company’s ST-246 inhibits vaccinia, cowpox, ectromelia (mousepox), monkeypox, camelpox, and variola (smallpox) replication in cell culture and in animal models. The smallpox vaccine, there could be several uses for an smallpox antiviral drug: prophylactically, to protect the non-immune who are at risk to exposure; therapeutically, to reduce mortality and morbidity in those infected with the smallpox virus; and as an adjunct to the smallpox vaccine in order to reduce the frequency of serious adverse events due to the live virus used for vaccination.
Arenaviruses are hemorrhagic fever viruses that have been classified as Category A agents by CDC due to the great risk that they pose to public health and national safety. In order to combat this threat, its scientists have identified one lead drug candidate, which has demonstrated antiviral activity in cell culture assays against Lassa fever virus. Lassa fever is an acute viral illness prevalent in West Africa with an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 infections. The Company has demonstrated therapeutic efficacy of its lead candidate against Lassa fever in several animal challenge studies. It also has programs against other hemorrhagic fever viruses, including Rift Valley Fever, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and Ebola.
Dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome are caused by one of four serotypes of dengue virus of the genus Flavivirus. Dengue is considered by the World Health Organization to be the important arthropod-borne viral disease with an estimated 50-100 million people infected with the virus each year. There has no approved antiviral or vaccine for the treatment or prevention of dengue-mediated disease. The Company has two drug series in the pre-clinical development stage, each with activity against all four serotypes of virus. Compounds from these series have recently shown efficacy in a murine model of disease and are undergoing optimization through medicinal chemistry.
Broad Spectrum Antiviral
A broad-spectrum antiviral would have great utility against natural or intentional introduction of these agents into population centers, as well as provide a treatment option in areas where these pathogens are endemic. Screening for antivirals against specific CDC Category A and B pathogens, utilizing its high-throughput screening program, led to the identification of a collection of compounds with broad spectrum antiviral activity. Compounds with potent, non-toxic activity against a diversity of virus families are being characterized with respect to antiviral mechanism(s) of action. Its chemi-informatics tools are being employed to explore and determine structure-activity relationships within the lead compound series. To date, the Company have documented sub-micromolar activity of a broad spectrum antiviral candidate against viruses in the Poxviridae, Filoviridae, Bunyaviridae, Arenaviridae, Flaviviridae, Togaviridae, Retroviridae and Picornaviridae families. Lead series are being assessed with respect to the mechanism of antiviral action, formulated for testing in vivo, and administered by multiple routes and dosing regimens to those small animal species traditionally used for modeling the pathogenesis of Category A viruses.
SIGA Technologies Inc
Suite 1700, 660 Madison Avenue
NEW YORK NY 10065