Siga Technologies has received requests for the use of its smallpox drug to treat monkeypox, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday (May 19), as cases spread in parts of Europe.
There have been no deliveries yet, but the company was “well positioned” in terms of supply, Chief Executive Phil Gomez said.
The drug, approved to treat smallpox in the United States and the orthopoxvirus family that includes monkeypox and cowpox in the EU, has been in government stockpiles as part of the pandemic response.
“As you can imagine with the outbreak in Europe, we have received requests and we are responding to those we can. We are engaged with our colleagues in Europe on how best to support that response,” Gomez said, without revealing details. about requests.
Cases of monkeypox have been reported or suspected in Great Britain, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. The virus causes symptoms of a fever, as well as a distinctive bumpy rash.
The disease, first identified in monkeys, is usually spread through close contact and occurs mainly in West and Central Africa.
Shares of New York-based Siga rose 19 percent on Thursday, along with shares of other smallpox drug and vaccine developers.
Copenhagen-based drugmaker Bavarian Nordic said on Thursday it had secured a contract with an undisclosed European country to supply its smallpox vaccine, Imvanex, in response to the outbreak.