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SIGA Passes First Hurdle with Lassa Fever Antiviral ST-193

iruses are classified as Category A pathogens by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to the great risk that they pose to public health and national safety. Lassa fever is both a current world health threat, as it is prevalent in parts of West Africa (the CDC reports estimates of as many as 300,000 new cases each year), and a bioterror threat, due to its previous history as an object of weaponization research. Signs and symptoms of Lassa fever typically occur 1-3 weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus. These include fever, retrosternal pain (pain behind the chest wall), sore throat, back pain, cough, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, facial swelling, proteinuria (protein in the urine), and mucosal bleeding. Neurological problems have also been described, including hearing loss, tremors, and encephalitis.

The Implementation Plan for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Threats released in April by the Department of Health and Human Services lists arenaviruses as one of the biologic threats for which they plan to purchase medical countermeasures.

Dr. Eric A. Rose, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SIGA, adds, "Progress on our Lassa fever virus drug demonstrates the robustness of our product pipeline and furthers our goal to develop safe and effective countermeasures against all of the Category A viral pathogens."

Development of this Lassa antiviral is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which awarded SIGA a $6.0 million grant in September 2006.

About SIGA Technologies, Inc.

SIGA Technologies is applying viral and bacterial genomics and sophisticated computational modeling in the design and development of novel products for the prevention and treatment of serious infectious diseases, with an emphasis on products for biological warfare defense. SIGA is a leading company in the discovery of pharmaceutical agents to fight emerging pathogens. SIGA
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