US-based life sciences firm Emergent BioSolutions has secured around $23m for the development of a new multi-drug auto-injector to deliver nerve agent antidote.
Being developed for the country’s Department of Defense (DoD), the new device will be used for intramuscular self or buddy-administration of antidotes in military environments, as well as during civilian emergencies.
DoD awarded Emergent with a five-year agreement through its Medical CBRN Defense Consortium (MCDC), which is an initiative within the department’s Joint Programme Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense.
The agreement requires Emergent to develop the injector and evaluate the final device in various studies to validate its consistent manufacture, functionality and usability.
Emergent BioSolutions business operations executive vice-president Adam Havey said: “Ease of use and rapid delivery of antidotes are critical features of auto-injectors that are intended to mitigate the health effects of nerve agent exposure.
“Emergent’s device seeks to satisfy the requirements of the DoD for a novel auto-injector platform technology."
Under the agreement, Emergent will also be responsible for the regulatory activities associated with obtaining approval for the device from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
MCDC was founded by the joint project manager for Medical Countermeasure Systems.
Its programme provides the country and its military forces with safe, effective, and innovative medical solutions against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.