February 25, 2014
HUMANETICS CORPORATION ENTERS INTO COOPERATIVE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE U.S. ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF CHEMICAL DEFENSE
Research will evaluate Humanetics' proprietary compound BIO 300 as a therapeutic for phosgene exposure
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Minneapolis-based Humanetics Corporation (Humanetics) has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD). The goal of this agreement is to evaluate Humanetics' proprietary compound BIO 300 as a therapeutic for phosgene exposure.
Phosgene is classified as a toxic industrial chemical and poses a significant public health threat. Phosgene is currently used to make chemicals and pesticides, but at room temperature it is a poisonous gas. Phosgene gas can have devastating effects on the respiratory system, and death can result if exposure is not met with prompt medical intervention.
"In today's uncertain geopolitical environment, research in the area of medical chemical countermeasures is more relevant than ever," said Ronald Zenk, CEO of Humanetics. "We're looking forward to partnering with USAMRICD on this important work."
Phosgene gas has a history of use in chemical warfare, most notably in World War I. Inhalation of high concentrations of chemical agents such as phosgene typically elicits life-threatening pulmonary edema. Long-term effects of phosgene inhalation exposure include irreversible emphysema, fibrosis and increased incidence of chronic pneumonitis and fibrinous pneumonia.
Under the CRADA, Humanetics and the USAMRICD will evaluate whether BIO 300 will: a) improve survival following phosgene exposure, and b) mitigate the acute and delayed respiratory effects, thus reducing lung damage resulting from exposure.
Successful demonstration of increased survival in the initial evaluation will result in the initiation and completion of additional studies to determine the optimal BIO 300 treatment regimen.
Continued positive results may lead to further comparative studies evaluating BIO 300 against other drug candidates using additional therapeutic endpoints.
"We're encouraged by the promise BIO 300 has already demonstrated in models of radiation-induced lung damage," said Zenk. "We think its potential as a medical chemical countermeasure is compelling."
The CRADA is effective January 8, 2014, and research will begin formally in March.
About Humanetics Corporation
Humanetics Corporation is a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary drugs, medical foods and consumer products in markets with urgent and unmet needs. For more information, visit www.humaneticscorp.com.
About the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense
The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense is the nation's leading science and technology laboratory in the area of medical chemical countermeasures research and development. With sophisticated laboratories located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, USAMRICD manages a diversified portfolio of medical chemical warfare agent research projects for the Department of Defense and other Federal Agencies.