Antiviral pharma Chimerix raises $45M in series F venture round

Antiviral therapies pharmaceutical company Chimerix has raised $45 million that it will apply toward further clinical development of two compounds, one of which could be used as a defense against biological attacks. The Durham, North Carolina-based company is developing another compound for infections associated with HIV.

Antiviral therapeutics company Chimerix has raised $45 million in a sixth round of financing to support two compounds in clinical trials, one of which has potential as a weapon against biological warfare.

The series F round was led by New Leaf Venture Partners, joined by new investors Pappas Ventures and Morningside Group. Existing investors Canaan Partners, Sanderling Ventures, Alta Partners, Asset Management Company and Frazier Healthcare Ventures also participated.

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Durham, North Carolina-based Chimerix’s lead drug candidate is CMX001, which is being developed as a broad-spectrum antiviral for life-threatening diseases. Phase II clinical trials have studied the compound’s ability to treat cytomegalovirus, a virus that can severely sicken patients with already compromised immune systems. The compound also has potential as a medical countermeasure to smallpox. Although smallpox has been eradicated, it is still considered a bioterrorism threat.

Chimerix has also recently completed a phase I study of CMX157, which is being developed as a treatment for HIV infections, including those infections caused by multi-drug resistant viruses.

Including the most recent fundraising round, Chimerix has raised more than $85 million. In addition to the venture financing, the company has also received a $36.1 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health. That grant money is partially funding Chimerix’s smallpox biodefense work. With the new venture financing, New Leaf Venture Partners managing director Dr. James Jiedel and Pappas Ventures managing partner Arthur Pappas join Chimerix’s board of directors.