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ViroPharma Incorporated, a pharmaceutical company, develops and sells drugs that address serious diseases treated by physician specialists and in hospital settings. The company focuses on product development activities on viral diseases, including those caused by cytomegalovirus (CMV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections.

The company has strategic relationships with GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth, Schering-Plough, and Sanofi-Aventis.

ViroPharma acquired 1,000,000 shares of Siga Technologies Template:Nasdaq, when Siga purchased ViroPharma's bio-defense compounds.

ViroPharma is a member of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index and the S&P 600.


ViroPharma Incorporated was founded in 1994 by Claude H. Nash (Chief Executive Officer), Mark A. McKinlay (Vice President, Research & Development), Marc S. Collett (Vice President, Discovery Research), Johanna A. Griffin (Vice President, Business Development), and Guy D. Diana (Vice President, Chemistry Research.)

None of the founders are still with the company.

Corporate Governance

Marketed Products



Maribavir is an oral antiviral drug candidate licensed from GlaxoSmithKline in 2003 for the prevention and treatment of human cytomegalovirus disease in hematopoietic stem cell/bone marrow transplant patients.

In March 2006, the company announced that a Phase II study with maribavir demonstrated that prophylaxis with maribavir displays strong antiviral activity, as measured by statistically significant reduction in the rate of reactivation of CMV in recipients of hematopoietic stem cell/bone marrow transplants. In an intent-to-treat analysis of the first 100 days after the transplant, the number of subjects who required pre-emptive anti-CMV therapy was statistically significantly reduced (p-value = 0.051 to 0.001) in each of the maribavir groups compared to the placebo group (57% for placebo vs. 15%, 30%, and 15% for maribavir 100 mg twice daily, 400 mg daily, and 400 mg twice daily, respectively).

In February 2006, ViroPharma announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted the company Fast Track status for Maribavir. The Fast Track program is designed to facilitate the development, and expedite the review, of new drugs that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.

In September 2006, ViroPharma announced the start of a Phase III clinical study to evaluate the prophylactic use for the prevention of cytomegalovirus disease in recipients of allogeneic stem cell transplant patients.


A non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor for the treatment of Hepatitis C, jointly developed with Wyeth.

In November 2005, ViroPharma announced preliminary results from a proof of concept study. In this study, HCV-796 demonstrated antiviral effects in adult patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. The patient cohort with the highest exposure to HCV-796 achieved a peak mean HCV viral load reduction of 1.4 log10, or 96 percent, on day four of a 14 day dosing period. HCV-796 was generally well tolerated, with a favorable pharmacokinetic profile and no dose-limiting toxicities.

In August 2006, the company released results of a Phase I study of HCV-796 in combination with pegylated interferon that demonstrated a 3.3 to 3.5 log10 decrease in viral load.

In August 2007, Phase II trials were discontinued due to safety concerns.[2]


Oral pleconaril was ViroPharma's first compound, licensed from Sanofi in 1997. Pleconaril is active against viruses in the picornavirus family. ViroPharma's first indication was for enteroviral meningitis, but that indication was abandoned when the clinical trials did not demonstrate efficacy.

In 2001, ViroPharma submitted an New Drug Application of pleconaril to the FDA for the common cold.[3] On 2002-03-19, the FDA Antiviral Advisory Committee recommended that the company had failed to show adequate safety, and the FDA subsequently issued a not-approvable letter. [4] After the Advisory Committee meeting the stock price fell from 22 USD at the beginning of 2002 to an all time low of 0.87 USD on 2002-10-28. (The stock price recovered in 2005.)

In November 2003, ViroPharma licensed pleconaril to Schering-Plough, who are developing an intranasal formulation for the common cold and asthma exacerbations. (Schering-Plough Development Pipeline). In August 2006, Schering-Plough started a Phase II clinical trial.

FDA Advisory Committee Meeting for pleconaril in the common cold


  1. Pollack, Andrew (2005-11-09). "Crucial Antibiotic Rescues Biotech Maker's Finances". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-20. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. "Potential Safety Issue Identified in Ongoing Phase 2 Clinical Study of HCV-796" (Press release). ViroPharma Incorporated. 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2007-09-03. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. Freundlich, Naomi (2002-02-03). "On the Trail of a Cure For the Common Cold". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-20. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. Pollack, Andrew (2002-03-20). "F.D.A. Panel Opposes Drug Meant to Treat Cause of Colds". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-20. Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links

Clinical Studies




These studies are conducted by Schering-Plough


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