Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded Cellerant Therapeutics a contract valued at $13.5 million to develop a treatment for acute radiation syndrome (ARS).
Cellerant will receive $3.4 million in the first year and up to $10.1 million over three years depending on development progress. Funds will be used to move Cellerant’s lead program, a human myeloid progenitor cell product called CLT-008, from advanced preclinical studies to Phase I and Phase II trials. The money will also be used to conduct preclinical radiation efficacy studies. Cellerant expects to file an IND for CLT-008 later this year.
Cellerant is also developing CLT-008 as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and to facilitate cord blood transplantation. CLT-008 is a cryopreserved, cell-based therapy that contains human myeloid progenitor cells derived from adult stem cells that have the ability to mature into functional granulocytes, platelets, and red blood cells in vivo. It is intended to provide hematopoietic cellular support after radiation exposure to ARS patients.
Preclinical studies have shown that a single dose of CLT-008 could provide effective treatment for ARS in an emergency situation, according to Cellerant. It can also be administered up to five days post-exposure to radiation, the company adds.