Chimerix’s CEO departs and is replaced by a trio of officers

Antiviral developer Chimerix has announced that its president and CEO, M. Michelle Berrey, M.D., has resigned, and she is being replaced in the interim by a triumvirate of senior company officers.

Chief Medical Officer W. Garrett Nichols, Chief Financial Officer Timothy Trost, and General Counsel Michael Alrutz will form a new “office of the chief executive officer” until a replacement is found, in addition to maintaining their other duties at the Durham, North Carolina-based biotech.

“As Chimerix looks ahead, we are pleased to have such experienced and knowledgeable executives as Garrett, Tim and Michael to take on expanded leadership roles in shepherding the company’s ongoing clinical trials for oral, short-course and intravenous brincidofovir and developing oral brincidofovir as a medical countermeasure for smallpox,” the company’s chair of the board of directors, Martha Demski, said in a statement.

Chimerix has seen some rough patches in the past few years: In 2015 and 2016, the company’s shares lost more than 90% of the value after brincidofovir, a lipid-conjugated prodrug of cidofovir, failed two phase 3 trials against cytomegalovirus and adenovirus infections.

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It also scrapped two additional phase 3 studies following the data from the first missed trial, with plans to roll the drug back into phase 2 development.

Today, Chimerix is working with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, to develop brincidofovir as a medical countermeasure for smallpox outbreaks due to a bioterror attack or an accidental release. It’s currently being studied under the FDA’s Animal Rule, in what the company describes as phase 3 development.

Meanwhle, its oral and intravenous formulations are listed in mid-phase development, including a phase 2 study against adenovirus in pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants. Chimerix’s second asset, CMX521, is currently being studied in phase 1 trials for norovirus, the company said.