Three botulism research contracts extended by DTRA
The research projects are focused on the development of treatments and countermeasures against intoxication of botulinum neurotoxin. The DTRA has also established a multi-center collaborative program between the Institute of Advanced Sciences (IAS), Ossianix Inc. and Montclair State University (MSU). Currently, MSU is working in drug discovery through the synthesis of small molecule drug candidates.
The IAS is performing high throughput screening of natural products and small molecule libraries for potential treatment candidates. Ossianix is currently developing single chain shark antibodies to serve as inhibitors for catalytic activity.
The notice states that in order to complete research goals set within their respective agreements additional time and funding was necessary, so the extension date has been set for Dec. 31, 2015. Both the IAS and MSU were granted $75,000 in additional funding.
Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), which is used within the medical community for cosmetic treatments and conditions relating to cerebral palsy. The toxin is the cause of botulism, a condition that can lead to neurological symptoms including: difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness and paralysis, if left untreated.
The three contracts are in coordination with the U.S. Army Medical Research of Chemical Defense.