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Contract Awarded to Test Nerve-Agent Protection Drug

Manisha Patel (University of Colorado)

Manisha Patel (University of Colorado)

An NIH program to develop countermeasures against chemical weapons has awarded a contract to a University of Colorado researcher to evaluate a commercial drug’s ability to protect against nerve agents. The $736,000 contract from NIH’s Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Research Network to Manisha Patel (pictured left), at University of Colorado’s School of Pharmacy in Aurora, will evaluate the drug AEOL 10150 developed by Aeolus Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company in Mission Viejo, California.

AEOL 10150, says the company, is designed to neutralize chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen or nitrogen, which reduces oxidative stress, inflammation, and subsequent tissue damage from radiation exposure. Aeolus Pharmaceuticals is developing AEOL 10150 as a countermeasure for a range of potential nerve agents, but it could also benefit cancer patients exposed to high doses of ration therapy.

The CounterACT grant will support research by Patel to test efficacy of AEOL 10150 against pilocarpine-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Her earlier research indicates oxidative stress can play a role in seizure-induced brain injury. Since nerve agents often cause seizures, AEOL 10150’s ability to protect against these agents needs to be determined.

AEOL 10150 is being developed as medical countermeasure against a range of agents with support from the U.S. government. NIH CounterACT is funding research and development of AEOL 10150 as a countermeasure against exposure to chlorine gas and sulfur mustard gas. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also an agency of NIH, is conducting animal efficacy studies of the compound as a countermeasure for gastro-intestinal effects of acute radiation syndrome (ARS).

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has as well awarded Aeolus Pharmaceuticals a contract to develop AEOL 10150 as a countermeasure against lung ARS and delayed effects of radiation exposure.

Read more: Contracts Awarded for Countermeasure Upgrades

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