(Hawaii News Now) - The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded Hawaii Biotech, Inc., a grant to continue the development of anthrax anti-toxin drugs. The small molecule inhibitors under development block anthrax lethal toxin. The award has a first-year period of performance, through Q1 2014, valued at $1.7 million. The grant for the full five-year period equals $8.1 million.
Under this award, the Hawaii Biotech team will continue screening potent anti-toxin small molecules to block the action of lethal factor, the protease component of lethal toxin produced by Bacillus anthracis. This grant will support the improvement of current lethal factor inhibitors which have demonstrated efficacy in animal models of post exposure inhalation of anthrax, as drug candidates. The safety, stability, and bioavailability of these candidates will be improved, with the goal of use in humans as an antidote to anthrax lethal factor intoxication.
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