Experimental Drug Seems to Be Working for Little Josh Hardy
byKaitlin StanfordMar 24, 2014
Last week, we were all rapt by the heartbreaking story of 7-year-old Josh Hardy, the brave little boy who beat cancer four times, only to be thrown a new curve ball: A debilitating adenovirus was attacking his immune system. It had sent him into kidney and liver failure, caused him to vomit blood, and was quickly taking this once happy boy's life right before his parents' eyes.
Josh's one last hope? A not-yet-approved drug called brincidofovir, which the manufacturer refused to give him for fear it would take even longer for them to get on the market.
After Josh's parents launched a media campaign, and much public outcry followed, the manufacturer Chimerex finally relented and gave Josh the drug. And now, less than one week and just three doses later, his parents are happy to report that it's had amazing effects. According to Josh's mom, Aimee, her son has been able to sit up in bed, play board games with his brothers and even do his homework.
"We expect it will be out of his system by Tuesday," Aimee Hardy told CNN. "I'm beside myself with how effective this drug was so quickly."
The wonder drug has already led Josh to regain his speech and put a stop to the painful and dangerous bleeding in his stomach and intestines. By all signs, the virus that has taken over his body for months looks like it's on its way out.
Chimerex was initially hesitant to grant Josh the drug for fear it would also prolong the length of time other patients in need could get the drug. But thanks to a loophole in the process, Josh was able to take advantage of the "compassionate use" case and get the drug early. What's more, the FDA has agreed that doing so will not prolong its approval process of the drug, and similar patients would be able to seek its use prior to approval, as well.