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Dec 4, 2006

AVI BioPharma Recipient of $28M Biodefense Contract

  • AVI BioPharma executed a two-year $28-million research contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The contract will fund AVI’s development of antisense therapeutics to treat the effects of Ebola, Marburg, and Junin hemorrhagic viruses, which are seen as biological warfare and bioterrorism agents.

    “This partnership with DTRA and the DoD serves as validation of AVI’s Neugene® antisense approach to gene silencing in general, as well as specific confirmation of AVI’s concept of rapid response therapeutics,” points out Alan P. Timmins, president and COO of AVI. “We believe that through this contract we will continue to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our Neugene technology plus AVI’s ability to develop and produce countermeasures for a broad spectrum of existing and emerging biothreat agents.”



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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