Naval Research Center conducts rapid-response exercise

AVI BioPharma, Inc., and the Naval Research Center recently announced the successful completion of a rapid-response exercise conducted by the Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies.

The JPM-TMT, run by the U.S. Defense Advanced Threat Reduction Agency, conducted the operation using two undisclosed bacterial and viral threats. Previously, AVI completed similar exercises against pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 and the dengue virus in 2010, according to

The exercise was considered a success for AVI’s continued development of a credible rapid –response capability using its RNA-based therapeutic technology against pathogenic threats.

In a total of 18 days, AVI conceived, designed and manufactured two novel RNA-based drug candidates, one against a gram negative bacterial target and one against a viral target.

AVI and JPM-TMT are participating in an ongoing research effort to refine a rapid–response capability that includes the ability to counter a real world emerging infectious disease or a major biological threat.

"By addressing two pathogenic threats simultaneously, including for the first time a bacterial threat, this exercise further tested AVI's demonstrated ability to rapidly design therapeutics against emerging viral and bacterial threats using our PMO-based platform chemistries, and builds on our other successful rapid response exercises," Chris Garabedian, AVI's CEO and president, said, reports. "We look forward to supporting JPM-TMT and DTRA to refine the rapid-response capability and also to potentially broaden our collaborative efforts with NMRC through future contracts or a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for the development of RNA-based therapeutics for the treatment of infectious diseases, including both viral and bacterial threats."