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Company approves experimental drug to be given to ill child

By: Lauren Hensley

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Seven-year-old Josh Hardy has been fighting for his life since he was a baby. He's been through four bouts of cancer, has survived, and has been cancer free for two years. But during his last round he had to undergo a bone marrow transplant that weakened his immune system.

Doctors at St. Jude Children's Hospital recommended Josh be treated with a drug that is currently in trial form and has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug is manufactured by a company called Chimeriz in North Carolina. Josh's family was willing to do whatever it could to get Josh the medicine, so it began a social media campaign.

"The family has advocated for him, the community has advocated for him near and far and there are so many people that are out there to support Josh because no one should let a 7-year-old fight alone," Josh's uncle, Matt Hardy, of State College, said.

Tuesday, the company agreed to move the development of the drug forward. In a statement Chimeriz said:

"...Josh Hardy's story brought to public attention the often-devastating impact of adenovirus infection, and helped accelerate a discussion between the FDA and Chimerix regarding the need for additional clinical development to assess brincidofovir's potential in adenovirus infection. This study is expected to begin with Josh Hardy as the first patient enrolled on Wednesday, March 12, 2014."

"Everyone is hash tagging 'Save Josh' and it has just been amazing the outreach and the support near and far to help Josh to get the medication to help him fight this virus," Hardy said.

Read drug company's full statement here.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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