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Oral brincidofovir cut the rate of high level HHV-6 viremia by 80%, suggesting that IV brincidofovir may have potential to prevent HHV-6 encephalitis.

An abstract at the Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meeting in Houston showed that only 2% of 92 patients treated with oral brincidofovir developed high level reactivation compared to 11% of 61 patients taking the placebo. The results came from an analysis of stored samples from their previous Phase III SUPPRESS trial for CMV prophylaxis. Chimerix’s Phase III trial for cytomegalovirus failed. Although oral brincidofovir reduced CMV viremia during the first 14 weeks, CMV infections bounced back during the 10-week observation period that followed, and there was a higher mortality rate in the drug group. Analysts blamed the higher death rate on the inability of participating physicians to differentiate between bleeding (a side effect of the drug) and acute GVHD. Instead …

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Foscarnet prophylaxis reduces severity but does not prevent HHV-6 encephalitis

A Japanese trial of foscarnet prophylaxis in cord blood transplant patients was successful in reducing severity and mortality as well as suppressing high viral loads, but it failed to prevent encephalitis. The authors note that the blood brain barrier must be inflamed to allow effective penetration of the drug into the central nervous system and speculate that the prophylaxis may have protected the meninges.