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NIAID awards $4 million to develop anti-radiation treatments

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has issued five awards totaling $4 million to fund the development of products that eliminate radioactive materials from the human body following radiological or nuclear exposure. The awards, which were granted under Project Bioshield authorities, complement NIAID's other medical countermeasure efforts to create safe and effective products of this type.

"These new grants will help identify new drug candidates that could be acquired by the strategic national stockpile of medical countermeasures, which is available to the public after a terrorist or nuclear attack or accidental radioactive exposure," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

In the event of an attack by a nuclear explosive device or radiological "dirty bomb," individuals potentially could inhale, ingest or absorb through their skin radioactive atoms called radionuclides. Depending on the type of radionuclide that a person is exposed to, the particles may be excreted from the body or enter bones, organs or other tissues, which could have significant adverse health consequences. Through an initiative announced in 2005, NIAID already is working to speed the development of a series of products that can bind (chelate) internally with the radionuclides and eliminate (decorporate) them from the body. Radionuclide decorporation products currently are available in the strategic national stockpile, but NIAID is focusing on expanding the product pool, creating new treatments capable of eliminating a wider range of radionuclides, developing products that can eliminate radioactive material faster and in greater amounts; and developing products in formulations that could be distributed more easily in a mass casualty situation.

NIAID has awarded five grants totaling up to $4 million to fund work for a period of 18 months. The following principal investigators and univ
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Contact: Kathy Stover
kstover@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
25-Sep-2006


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