7-year-old receives experimental drug at St. Jude

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV/CNN) – This afternoon during a teleconference, doctors at St. Jude confirmed that 7-year-old Josh Hardy did in fact receive that experimental drug on Wednesday night. They say though he has a long road to recovery and is still very sick, it’s providing a small glimpse of hope.

“We really don’t care what excuses there are. They have something that can help our son,” said mother Aimee Hardy Monday.

By then her son’s story garnered national attention, and by Tuesday the FDA gave the drug company the go ahead to allow St. Jude to use the experimental antiviral drug drug Brincidofovir.

At first, the drug company said that if they gave this drug out to people like Josh it would take up too much of their resources to administer it to him, to keep track of all the medical records, and they couldn’t stay on course to getting this drug approved and on the market for everyone.

They said that helping Josh would slow down approval to help others.

But quietly Chimerix, the drug company, and the Food and Drug Administration were working on a solution.

The FDA gave Chimerix permission to use Josh and other patients as actual study subjects.

So by giving them the drug they actually are forwarding on the research that will help get this drug on the market.

“Battling this viral infection is one of many components of Josh’s treatment,” said Dr. Williams Evans.

The drug helps treat that viral infection and doctors say the oral version he is taking is less hard on his kidneys.

“He has been in the ICU, for several weeks following a bone marrow transplant and is facing critical, complex medical problems,” said Dr. Larry Kun, clinical director.

Wednesday night, he received the drug and doctors say he is in good spirits.

By Thursday, he may even walk outside and enjoy the Memphis weather.

Meantime, his parents are by his side, only updating us by phone, but his spirits are high.

Doctors are grateful for the support and hope it paves the way for others.

“He is a very sick little boy. This is a marathon, not a sprint in terms of providing his treatment going forward,” said Evans.

Doctors says Josh is tolerating the drug well but it will take time to determine whether or not it’s working.

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