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Biosecur Bioterror. 2011 Dec;9(4):351-60. doi: 10.1089/bsp.2011.0047. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

State-of-the-art therapeutic medical countermeasures for viral threat agents.

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Science Applications International Corporation, Frederick, Maryland, USA.


In recent years, there has been an increase in the perceived threat of biological agents being used against civilian populations. This has prompted an urgent need for the development and procurement of medical countermeasures (MCMs) against highly pathogenic viruses that can prevent morbidity and mortality from infections caused by these agents. To date, antiviral drug development has been largely focused on clinically prevalent chronic infections due to their commercial viability. This has left a huge gap in the drug development path for acute infections of biodefense importance. In this review, we discuss the antiviral research and development initiatives focusing specifically on poxviruses, filoviruses, and equine encephalitis viruses (EEV). We discuss the benefits and technical challenges in the current development strategies and the hurdles in the licensure path for MCMs against these highly pathogenic viruses under the FDA Animal Rule, and we provide recommendations for the path forward.

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