"This is just one more program in SwRI

SwRI Wins Contract for Continued Work on Cyanide Poisoning Treatment

The 28-month contract awarded by HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) continued development to show safety and efficacy to support FDA approval.

The San Antonio-based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been awarded an $8.3 million contract extension by HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to continue development of a nasal-delivery treatment system to combat cyanide poisoning using isoamyl nitrite, the institute announced March 25.

The 28-month contract, a follow-on option to a $4.4 million contract that started in 2011, will include development of additional clinical supplies, regulatory filings, and testing in two animal models to show safety and efficacy to support FDA approval.

"This antidote could potentially save many lives in an emergency situation by allowing individuals to quickly administer — even self-administer — a life-saving dosage of the isoamyl nitrite intranasally," said Dr. Joe McDonough, principal investigator and director of SwRI's Microencapsulation and Nanomaterials Department. "This formulation, using a nasal delivery method, is relatively low cost, and can be quickly and easily administered in a crisis situation, unlike the current method that must be delivered by a trained medical professional."

"This is just one more program in SwRI’s 10-year effort to develop antidotes against toxic industrial chemicals and chemical weapons," said Dr. Michael MacNaughton, vice president of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. "SwRI has a long history of developing new technology to support the government. The institute is a leader in the drug development and delivery field and is working toward new medical countermeasures for chemical agents, including this cyanide antidote."

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