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US May Add ‘Toxic’ Antiviral Drug to Arsenal as Monkeypox Spreads

  • CDC aims to use Chimerix’s smallpox drug Tembexa for virus
  • Experts are concerned about the drug’s serious side effects
Updated on

Struggling to contain the monkeypox outbreak that’s resulted in more than 1,400 US cases, US health officials may open access to an antiviral drug that has been little-studied in humans and comes with a risk of dangerous side effects. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pursuing an expanded access protocol for Chimerix Inc.’s smallpox drug Tembexa to treat monkeypox, according to documents from an agency meeting in late June. An expanded access protocol would let clinicians use the drug as a back-up in some patients who don’t respond to other treatments.