After a social media campaign—and an avalanche of bad publicity—a drug company has done a U-turn and agreed to give a dying 7-year-old boy an experimental drug that could save his life. The FDA allows "compassionate use"of unapproved drugs in such cases, but the Chimerix pharmaceutical company had insisted that giving the drug to Josh Hardy, who developed a bone marrow disorder after cancer treatment, would delay efforts to get it to market, CNN reports.
Chimerix president Kenneth Moch says Josh will be the first patient in a pilot trial for the drug. "Being unable to fulfill requests for compassionate use is excruciating, and not a decision any one of us ever wants to have to make," says Moch, who tells the Fredericksburg Lance-Star that he and his employees have received death threats amid a flood of pleas to help the Virginia boy. Josh is expected to receive the drug within 48 hours, though his mother fears he is running out of time. "Even though he is frail, he has a very strong will about him," she tells Fox News. "But things just keep stacking against him, and we just want to do everything we can to give him the opportunity to make a full recovery." (Read more Josh Hardy stories.)