Tuesday, September 23, 2014

No mention of re-instating their contract in Pentagon response on Sarepta

As reported by Etopia News here, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bio-tech company Sarepta Therapeutics announced on October 3, 2012 “that the Ebola portion of the Company's contract [with the Department of Defense] for the advanced development of hemorrhagic fever virus therapeutics was terminated for the convenience of the government due to funding constraints.”

In light of the accelerating spread of Ebola in West Africa, Etopia News contacted the Department of Defense to inquire about the possibility of that contract being re-instated. 

According to a Defense official who responded:

“The DoD Joint Project Manager for Medical Countermeasure Systems (JPM-MCS) terminated its contract with Sarepta Therapeutics (Cambridge, Massachusetts) in 2012 for the development of the Ebola product, AVI 7537.  At that time, JPM-MCS retained the drug material. Recently JPM-MCS agreed to a request from Sarepta to return all AVI 7537 material to the company for potential use in the current outbreak.”

The official also stated that “the Department of Defense (DoD) remains committed to supporting the nation's response to the Ebola outbreak,” but made no mention of whether that support would extend to re-instating Sarepta’s contract.

In a recent article, Adam Feuerstein argued that “Sarepta Should Shut Up About Ebola, Focus on Job No. 1,” writing:

“Ebola is big news today, but Sarepta has one job right now: Finishing the eteplirsen regulatory package and delivering it to the FDA for review before the end of the year. Nothing else is more important to Sarepta, shareholders or Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients and their families.  Talking up ebola sounds like a distraction from Sarepta's priority. It sounds like the company is losing focus.”  

More about Sarepta at:

Sarepta shares plunge 60 percent after FDA questions drug trial

Sarepta bets on DMD drug approval with a $25M plant buy

FDA Questions around Dystrophin Quantitation by Sarepta Delay DMD Drug

Sarepta CEO: Start of main Duchenne drug trial delayed by one to two months

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