DARPA seeks passive immunity project

The U.S. Department of Defense recently announced that it is seeking proposals for the development of technology to provide scalable passive immunization protection for military and public health uses.

The DOD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said the effort is part of the Autonomous Diagnostics to Enable Prevention and Therapeutics: Prophylactic Options to Environmental and Contagious Threats, or ADEPT-PROTECT, initiative, according to GlobalBiodefense.com.

"The solicitation seeks approaches that deliver nucleic acid constructs to an immunologically naive host in formats that are by design transient, expressed from reusable platforms (i.e., do not themselves elicit an immune response), and capable of producing the necessary repertoire of antibodies or other immune molecules at levels sufficient for prophylaxis," DARPA announced, GlobalBiodefense.com reports.

DARPA hopes to turn the technology into a platform that will ultimately enable transferable immune protection that is equivalent to plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin that is universal, safe, adaptable and scalable to protect the U.S. population. Long-term, it is hoped that the technology can protect against biothreats even before they are recognized.

"The agency is only considering innovative methods to advance beyond current state-of-the art and which address the inherent technical challenges including identification of protective oligoclonal immune responses; design and delivery of nucleic acid constructs to produce and express the oligoclonal response at a protective concentration and clinically-relevant duration; and ensuring safety by demonstrating that the system is non-integrating and transient," DARPA said, GlobalBiodefense.com reports.

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U.S. Department of Defense

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