Chimerix gets up to $25.3 million contract from Canada for smallpox drug

FILE PHOTO: Samples of suspected cases of monkeypox get tested at a microbiology lab in Madrid
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(Reuters) - Chimerix Inc said on Friday it had been awarded a contract worth up to $25.3 million by Canada for its smallpox drug, likely to used to treat monkeypox as the viral infection spreads across the world.

There have been more than 3,200 confirmed cases of monkeypox and one death reported in the last six weeks from 48 countries where it does not usually spread, according to the World Health Organization.

The contract, awarded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, comes a day after Chimerix announced an order worth $9.3 million for the smallpox drug, Tembexa.

"This second international procurement contract highlights Tembexa's important role as a medical countermeasure and the need to have these types of medicines in strategic stockpiles for all age groups," said Chief Executive Officer Mike Sherman.

Chimerix, which in May agreed to sell the rights of the drug to Emergent BioSolutions, said the contracts are expected to be completed before the sale goes through.

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)