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    ADAMANT about Warfighter Protection

    NMCSD Administers First Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Treatment

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Harley Sarmiento | 210126-N-NH199-1015 SAN DIEGO (Jan 26, 2020) Lt. Cmdr. Raben Talvo, Naval Medical...... read more read more

    FORT BELVOIR, VA, UNITED STATES

    02.18.2021

    Courtesy Story

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency

    Courtesy article

    DTRA Public Affairs

    FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is looking to accelerate medical research to treat the exposure of botulinum neurotoxin, a potentially fatal biological warfare agent that is a target of interest for many global health security officials.

    With the recent development of the ADAMANT platform — the Advanced Development and Manufacturing of Antibody Technologies — now in Phase 1 clinical trials, DTRA is hopeful to achieve this goal of better protecting the Joint Force.

    “Advances in medicine are needed, not only to speed up the recovery time but also in preventative measures – taking a medication before an exposure occurs,” stated Colonel Michael Quinn, who leads chem-bio defense issues at DTRA.

    Because botulinum poisoning resembles other conditions (stroke or an opioid overdose), correct diagnosis can take time. Treatment is an antitoxin but recovering from any muscle or neurological injury a warfighter sustained before diagnosis could require a hospital stay of weeks to months.

    “Our number one priority is to protect our Joint Forces. Developing new pretreatments to give before an event occurs is one way we can better prepare for the threats of tomorrow,” affirmed Quinn. The ADAMANT platform uses human-derived proteins, called humanized antibodies, to develop medicines that fight pathogens and toxins. The first medicine currently being developed in ADAMANT binds to and neutralizes botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A and B, which are among the world’s most poisonous toxins,” said Traci Pals, a scientist at DTRA.

    The humanized antibodies that ADAMANT uses are monoclonal (mAb), which are single proteins and ones that always bind to a specific part of a pathogen or toxin. This identifying characteristic makes mAbs a highly specific drug to neutralize the given pathogen or toxin. Since vaccines do not yet exist for every toxin or pathogen, mAb-based medicines can provide rapid protection from a biological agent on short notice and in conflict settings where toxins or other biological agents are deployed.


    Drugs based on mAbs have a rapid onset of protection, but this effect lasts only a few weeks to months,” Pals said. “While mAb-based medicines cannot replace the long-term protection (months to years) a vaccine would offer, they do provide rapid protection from a biological agent on short notice.”
    Additionally, mABs are being developed for protection against a range of biological threats, including plague, hemorrhagic fever virus’s, palytoxin (a potent marine toxin), and others.

    “Successful field-testing of the mAb product for botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A and B will go far in demonstrating ADAMANT as a superior manufacturing platform,” said Quinn. “Establishing and validating a process to discover, design, manufacture, and test new humanized mAbs will greatly accelerate the development of subsequent mAb-based medical products to protect our warfighters and support global health security efforts.”

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    About DTRA:
    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency enables the Department of Defense, the United States government, and international partners to counter and deter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat networks. For more information, visit https://www.dtra.mil.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.18.2021
    Date Posted: 02.18.2021 13:58
    Story ID: 389314
    Location: FORT BELVOIR, VA, US 

    Web Views: 96
    Downloads: 0

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