DURHAM, N.C. – Inhalon Biopharma, a clinical-stage company advancing a proprietary inhaled antibody platform for treating acute respiratory infections (ARI), today announced that it has been awarded a $5.7 million contract by the U.S Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) to support a U.S. Army Military Performance Advancement Initiative (MPAI) project to develop new treatments for COVID-19 and other SARS infections. The company will use the funds to develop a new self-administered, broad-spectrum antiviral for prophylaxis or treatment of SARS viruses, designed to be potent against all current and future variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.
“This strategic investment for the USAMRDC Military infectious Diseases Research Program meets the unique needs of the US military for an effective, self-dosing, and field-deployable solution to protect the Warfighter from endemic and emerging respiratory disease outbreaks”
“The rapid evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has made it difficult for the medical community to effectively protect the population from COVID-19 infection and to develop treatments that remain effective against a changing virus,” said John Whelan, president and chief executive officer, Inhalon Biopharma. “This work is critical to developing better approaches to treating COVID-19, and more importantly, to showing proof-of-concept for an approach to developing treatments for other rapidly mutating respiratory viruses.”
“This strategic investment for the USAMRDC Military infectious Diseases Research Program meets the unique needs of the US military for an effective, self-dosing, and field-deployable solution to protect the Warfighter from endemic and emerging respiratory disease outbreaks,” said Regina Davey, deputy director, research operations, JPC-2 Military Infectious Disease Research Program, Army Medical Research and Development Command.
This award follows an earlier award from USAMRDC showing proof-of-concept for the Inhalon Biopharma inhaled antibody treatment approach. In a clinical study funded under that award, Inhalon Biopharma demonstrated that an anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody could be safely and effectively delivered to healthy volunteers. The results, which showed exceptional pharmacokinetics, are available here.
“Among the many lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic is the broad realization that other easily transmissible respiratory pathogens could emerge in the future,” said William Howell, president, Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, which administers the USAMRDC awards program. “It is critical for companies like Inhalon Biopharma to partner with the government in helping to improve our national biosecurity and our collective preparedness for addressing the burden of respiratory infections.”
Inhalon Biopharma-developed therapeutic compounds are designed to be self-administered by patients using a handheld portable nebulizer, making them easier to administer, store, and distribute compared to antibodies designed for intravenous delivery.
The views expressed in this news release/article are those of the authors and may not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
About Inhalon Biopharma
Inhalon Biopharma is a clinical-stage company advancing a proprietary inhaled antibody platform for treating a variety of acute respiratory infections. Inhalon Biopharma’s intellectual property includes approved U.S. and EU patents covering the composition and use of aerosolized muco-trapping antibodies. Inhalon Biopharma is supported by the Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs and angel investor syndicates led by Life Science Angels and others, including Band of Angels, Sand Hill Angels, Berkeley Catalyst Fund, as well as several federal contracts with the NIH and USAMRDC.
About U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC)
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command is the Army’s medical materiel developer, with responsibility for medical research, development, and acquisition. USAMRDC produces medical solutions for the battlefield with a focus on various areas of biomedical research, including military infectious diseases, combat casualty care, military operational medicine, medical chemical, and biological defense. https://mrdc.health.mil/
The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium is a 501(c)(3) biomedical technology consortium that is internationally-dispersed, collaborating with multiple government agencies under a 10-year renewable Other Transaction Agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command. The consortium focuses on the development of medical solutions that protect, treat, and optimize the health and performance of U.S. military personnel and civilians. To find out more about MTEC, visit mtec-sc.org.