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Aug 6, 2007

Ichor Wins $2.3M Award to Assess Vaccine Candidates for Anthrax and Plague

  • Ichor Medical Systems received a two-year contract valued at over $2.3 million by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Ichor will assist the Biological Defense Research Directorate in the assessment of DNA vaccine candidates for anthrax and plague developed by the Navy and administered using the company’s TriGrid™ Delivery System.

    "Ichor's TriGrid represents a promising platform technology for the rapid deployment of vaccines against anthrax, plague, and other biothreat agents," states Alain Luxembourg, M.D., Ph.D., director of infectious disease programs at Ichor.

    "DNA vaccines represent an appealing immunization modality for such applications because they are relatively straightforward to design and manufacture and compatible with long-term storage," says Ichor CEO Bob Bernard. "Because of its superior ability to enhance the potency of DNA vaccines, Ichor's TriGrid is uniquely positioned to enable consistent, robust responses to such vaccines in humans."

    The new contract builds on Ichor's ongoing collaboration with the Department of Defense (DoD), exploring the potential of electroporation-based delivery to increase the effectiveness of a number of biodefense-related DNA vaccine candidates. In March, the company received $900,000 from the DOD to assist the U.S. Army in the development of a DNA vaccine for equine encephalitis.



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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.

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