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AVI BioPharma Developing Treatments for Biological Warfare Agents Under Contract with Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

SciTech21-5 December 2006-AVI BioPharma Developing Treatments for Biological Warfare Agents Under Contract with Defense Threat Reduction Agency(C)2006 JeraOne - http://www.jeraone.com

AVI BioPharma Inc. yesterday announced that it has executed a two-year $28 million research contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of Fort Belvoir, Va., for the development of antisense therapeutics to treat the effects of Ebola, Marburg and Junin hemorrhagic viruses. The viruses are seen as biological warfare and bioterrorism agents.

The DTRA contract is separate from a previously announced allocation of $11 million to AVI as part of the 2006 Defense Appropriations Act, but builds on previous successful research into Ebola and Marburg viruses conducted with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the company noted.

The Defense Appropriations Act allocation of $11 million is for separate specific, complementary research to develop therapeutic agents against Ebola, Marburg and dengue viruses, as well as to develop countermeasures for anthrax exposure and antidotes for ricin toxin.

"This partnership with DTRA and the DoD serves as validation of AVI's proprietary NEUGENE antisense approach to gene silencing in general, as well as specific confirmation of AVI's concept of rapid response therapeutics," said Alan P. Timmins, AVI president and COO.

"We believe that through this contract we will continue to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our NEUGENE technology plus AVI's unprecedented ability to develop and produce countermeasures for a broad spectrum of existing and emerging biothreat agents," said Timmins.

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Publication:SciTech21
Date:Dec 5, 2006
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