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Biotech Gets DARPA Grant for Respiratory Therapies

Anthrax spores (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Anthrax spores (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Pulmatrix, a biotechnology company in Lexington, Massachusetts, said today it received a grant for $5.7 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the Department of Defense, to further develop the company’s processes for the treatment and prevention of respiratory infections.

DARPA identified Pulmatrix’s inhaled cationic airway lining modulators (iCALM) technology as a candidate for the development of therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of respiratory infections caused by weaponized, engineered, or naturally occurring pathogens. iCALM therapies trigger multiple mechanisms that act together on the physical properties and host defenses of the airway, and can work against against an array of pathogens with reduced potential for resistance.

The award will support formulation development and preclinical studies to evaluate the range and efficacy of potential iCALM drug candidates. The most promising formulations will be selected for investigational new drug toxicology studies leading into clinical development with the goal of providing a field-deployable drug/device combination to protect service members and civilians against an array of airborne threats including anthrax, tularemia, and different strains of influenza.

Related: Three Companies Win NIH Biodefense Research Contracts

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