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Jul 17, 2007

Xcellerex Wins $13M DARPA Contract to Accelerate Protein and Vaccine Manufacturing

  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Xcellerex two phase I contracts for the Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP), a program worth over $13 million. AMP is a three-phase program in which the U.S. military is focused on technologies for producing emergency therapeutics and vaccines rapidly and cost effectively to respond to a wide range of biological threats.

    Phase I of the AMP program is focused on optimizing host strains that will express a model vaccine and antibody,  and demonstrate small-scale production. Subsequent phases will be aimed at rapid process optimization, scale-up, and cost effective production.

    Xcellerex will serve as the prime contractor on the first grant, in which the company is collaborating with Dowpharma, Biopharm Services, and deltaDOT. The team combines Xcellerex’ PDMax™ process development and FlexFactory™ manufacturing technologies with Dowpharma’s Pfenex Expression Technology™, and deltaDOT’s Peregrine™ and Osprey™.

    “deltaDOT’s Peregrine™ and Osprey™ high-throughput technology platforms provide critical analytical capabilities required to track product quality, while BioPharm Services will be providing advanced modeling capabilities for biopharmaceutical manufacturing,” explains Parrish Galliher, Xcellerex’ founder, president, and CEO.

    In the second contract, Xcellerex is collaborating with Neugenesis as the prime contractor, SRI International, and BioPharm Services. The grant will investigate Neugenesis’ NeuBIOS™ protein production platform. Neugenesis and SRI will provide project management and integration systems for the team.

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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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