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Nelson Biotech Start-up Kimer Med Signs Contract With Battelle Memorial Institute To Advance Pioneering Antiviral Drugs

Published: Fri 8 Mar 2024 09:02 PM
12 month contract focused on the development of new antiviral drugsNovel candidates to be produced using Kimer Med's broad-spectrum antiviral platformThere are currently no approved antivirals for 95% of viral diseases
Kimer Med, a Nelson biotech start-up, announced it has signed a contract valued at up to USD$750,000 (NZD$1.3 million) with Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the world's largest independent, nonprofit research and development organisation.
The 12 month contract is funded by the United States government through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and will fall into Battelle's Accelerated Therapeutics for Combating Acute Viral Epidemics programme.
The contract is focused on the discovery and development of new antiviral drug candidates for the treatment of alphaviruses.
Spread mostly by infected ticks and mosquitoes, alphaviruses cause significant human and animal disease. Infections that result in encephalitis - inflammation and swelling of the brain - are often fatal and can cause ongoing neurological problems.
There is currently no antiviral treatment for alphavirus infection.
Launched in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kimer Med has since developed innovative antivirals that have shown efficacy against 11 different viruses, including Dengue (all four types), Zika virus, and Herpes Simplex-2 (HSV-2).
"Approved antiviral drugs are currently available for only 11 out of more than 200 viruses that cause widespread sickness, suffering and death in humans," said Kimer Med's CEO, Rick Kiessig.
"Our mission is to change that. We’re developing a family of broad-spectrum antivirals capable of treating many of these infections."
"This contract is an important milestone for Kimer Med, as it provides another opportunity to prove the capability of our platform for rapid, broad-spectrum antiviral development," said Kiessig.
Kimer Med’s antiviral platform holds significant promise to deliver vital broad-spectrum antiviral treatments with a range of applications, including:Neglected tropical diseases: Half the world's population is at risk from mosquito-borne viral infections for which there are no antiviral treatments available.Pandemic protection: Vaccines will not be ready and waiting when the next pandemic occurs, but broad-spectrum antivirals can be stockpiled for early protection and resilience.Healthcare and First Responders: Vital protection for frontline health workers and other first responders in the event of viral outbreaks, especially when the pathogen is unknown.Military use: Broad-spectrum medical countermeasures to protect military personnel against a range of existing and emerging viral threats.
"With broad-spectrum antivirals, we have within our grasp the potential to revolutionise the treatment and prevention of viral infections in the way that penicillin did for bacterial infections. We're looking forward to working with such a highly-regarded and well-resourced organisation as Battelle to advance antiviral drug candidates that will be able to treat these alphaviruses, and hopefully a range of other viruses as well," said Kiessig.
About Battelle
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.
About Kimer Med
Founded by Rick Kiessig and Phil Oliver in 2020, Kimer Med is a biotech start-up, based in Nelson, New Zealand. Backed by a multi-million dollar seed funding round, the company has designed a platform for the rapid development of novel, broad-spectrum antivirals. Kimer Med launched a Series A capital raise in September 2023 to progress development of their lead antiviral candidate through to Phase 1 clinical trials. For more information, visit www.kimermed.co.nz.

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