US funds work on drugs for plague, tularemia, anthrax

first_img Gentamicin in injectable form is a first-line drug for plague and tularemia, and it has also been used in a saline nebulized form for fighting Pseudomonas respiratory infections, especially in cystic fibrosis patients, the company said. Sep 26 PharmAthene news releasehttp://ir.pharmathene.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=191999&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1202672&highlight PharmAthene, Inc., based in Annapolis, Md., announced last month that it had been awarded a contract worth up to $13.9 million for further development of a human monoclonal antibody called Valortim to be used as an anthrax antitoxin. The company said it is collaborating with Medarex Inc., Princeton, N.J., to develop Valortim, which is designed to target protective antigen, one of the key proteins anthrax uses to attack host cells. In initial work on the product, Medarex has demonstrated a novel mechanism of action, animal efficacy, favorable human safety and pharmacokinetic data, and development of an efficient production process, according to the company news release. Nanotherapeutics, Inc., based in Alachua, Fla., announced it had received a $20 million contract to develop NanoGENT, an inhaled form of the injectable antibiotic gentamicin, for treating pneumonic plague and tularemia. Both contracts were mentioned in an Oct 5 HHS news release about four contracts to develop countermeasures for Category A bioterrorism agents. (The other two contracts were reported previously by CIDRAP News; see Oct 3 link below.) The company said preclinical studies suggest the product may be effective for both prevention and treatment of anthrax. See also: “The latest contract from NIAID/BARDA brings the total amount of government funding allocated to Valortim to over $24 million,” PharmAthene Vice President and Medical Director Valerie Riddle, MD, said in the news release. Oct 5 HHS news releasehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2007pres/10/20071005c.htmlcenter_img According to results reported at the 2006 annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the antitoxin was well tolerated and was not immunogenic in a phase 1 clinical trial, PharmAthene reported. Oct 3 CIDRAP News story “Federal grants support new anthrax countermeasures” The contracts were awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), both part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Working with four other companies, Nanotherapeutics expects to bring NanoGENT to clinical trials in the fourth year of its NIAID-BARDA contract, the statement said. The collaborating companies are Respirics Inc., Next Breath LLC, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, and i3 Research. Oct 16, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US government recently awarded contracts totaling about $34 million to two companies for development of drugs to treat pneumonic plague, tularemia, and anthrax, three of the diseases terrorists are deemed most likely to try to exploit. In an Oct 11 announcement, Nanotherapeutics said NanoGENT is a powdered formulation of gentamicin to be used as early treatment for people exposed to plague, tularemia, and other respiratory infections. The company said inhaled drugs would be especially useful for providing postexposure prophylaxis and treatment on a large scale. Oct 11 Nanotherapeutics news release PharmAthene announced on Sep 26 that its contract to develop Valortim is worth up to $13.9 million over 2 years, with up to $10.3 million to be awarded in the first year.last_img read more

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Iran may offer discounts to lure airlines to fly through its airspace

first_imgIran is drawing up plans to offer discounts to some foreign airlines using its airspace, state news agency IRNA quoted a senior aviation official as saying on Saturday, after a slump in flights due to the coronavirus pandemic and regional tensions.Nasser Aghaei, director of the state-run Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company, said the discounts would go to the top eight airlines providing transit income as well as airlines boosting their flights by 20 percent.However, no general cut in fees are planned, IRNA said. Iran is one of many countries to charge so-called overflight fees, which are generally used to fund services such as air traffic control, weather data and aeronautical information. The planned discounts still have to be approved by the government, Aghaei said.Before the pandemic, major airlines in January rerouted or cancelled flights to avoid airspace over Iraq and Iran following an Iranian missile strike on US-led forces in Iraq.On Jan 8, all 176 people aboard a Ukrainian airliner flight were killed when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff en route from Tehran to Kiev.Iran acknowledged shooting the plane down but said it had done so by mistake while under high alert, hours after it had fired at US targets in retaliation for a US strike that killed an Iranian general.In June, some global airlines re-routed flights to avoid Iran-controlled airspace over parts of the Gulf, after the US aviation regulator barred its carriers from the area following the downing of a US drone by Iran. Topics :last_img read more

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