HEALTH

Josh Hardy to receive experimental drug

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(WJLA) - After days of pleading with drug company executives, Josh Hardy's parents got what they had been praying for: a chance to get an experimental drug that could save their son's life.

The drug's maker, Chimerix, said Tuesday that the ailing 7-year-old will receive medicine that doctors hope will help save his life.

The Fredericksburg first-grader has beaten cancer four times since he was just nine months old, but his suppressed immune system couldn't beat a virus he contracted after a recent bone marrow transplant.

When Josh's doctors tried to get him an experimental drug called brincidofovir, Chimerix refused. The Hardy's turned to social media, hoping Chimerix would change its mind and give Josh a fighting chance.

An FDA policy known as "compassionate use" allows someone with a serious of life-threatening disease to ask a drug company for a trial drug. Companies often say yes, but pharmaceutical companies often say no, as Chimerix did at first to Josh.

“What’s been lost sight of is how we’ve been working. We, a small 50-person company at Chimerix, have been working very hard to make this drug available to Josh and other patients in need,” said Kenneth Moch, Chimerix president and CEO.

Josh is at St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis. He will be the first patient enrolled in the pilot trial.

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