The Chimerix pharmaceutical company says it will give ailing 7-year-old Josh Hardy a drug that could help him survive as part of a pilot trial.
The company said in a statement Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration to begin a pilot trial with the drug, brincidofovir, and provide it to Hardy as part of that study.
The study is expected to start on Wednesday, the statement said.
The company had previously denied calls from the 7-year-old’s family to give him the drug, arguing that spending the time to help Josh and others like him will slow down efforts to get the drug on the market.
The child’s family and supporters, in online and media campaigns, had been pushing the company to change its mind.
The child’s journey began when he was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer at 9 months old. Over the years, cancer turned up in his thymus, lung, and bone marrow, and each time Josh beat it.
But a bone marrow transplant left Josh without much of an immune system, and in February doctors diagnosed him with an adenovirus that spread through his body.
Now he’s in critical condition in an intensive care unit in Memphis as the virus ravages his body.