24/7 Space News
Scientists pursue drug to protect US troops from radiation sickness
(From left) David Berkowitz of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Rick Evans of the National Strategic Research Institute and Ken Bayles of the University of Nebraska Medical Center have received a $24.5 million award from the Defense Health Agency to advance development of an acute radiation syndrome prophylactic. They are shown with UNL's new 15-Tesla ICR-MS instrument in Hamilton Hall. Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing.
Scientists pursue drug to protect US troops from radiation sickness
by Staff Writers
Lincoln NB (SPX) Sep 12, 2023

Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska Medical Center, with guidance and administration from the National Strategic Research Institute, are advancing development of a first-of-its-kind prophylactic to help protect U.S. troops from the effects of acute radiation syndrome. ARS is caused by exposure to high levels of radiation, which could result from a dirty bomb terrorist attack, nuclear accident or nuclear weapons incident.

To launch the next steps of this important work, the Defense Health Agency has awarded a $24.5 million contract to NSRI, the Department of Defense University Affiliated Research Center of U.S. Strategic Command and the University of Nebraska system. This is the third DHA contract for this work and brings the project to more than $35 million in funding since 2017. The contract also is the highest single-project award in NSRI's history.

Having made substantial progress toward completing the initial pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic testing on multiple candidate compounds, the research team will continue testing candidate compounds and gathering data for evaluation and approval for use by the Food and Drug Administration.

"We are looking at both prevention and mitigation strategies, and they are not necessarily the same agents," said Dr. David Berkowitz, co-principal investigator and Willa Cather Professor of chemistry at UNL, who also currently leads the Division of Chemistry at the National Science Foundation. "It is really a challenging space scientifically, but I think that is why our team has been so successful - we have passion for the purpose of this work. We bring a truly interdisciplinary approach to the science, leveraging the power of the UNL and UNMC collaboration."

The researchers are leveraging several NU facilities and technologies and have provided real-world experiences to undergraduate and graduate students. They also have published several papers regarding their work, including:

This project also activated a higher-level strategy for NU that is now in full gear - the Nebraska Drug Discovery and Development Pipeline, or "ND3P." Connecting the drug discovery and development expertise, capabilities, facilities and technologies from all four NU campuses, ND3P helps the Department of Defense explore, innovate and pursue essential but rarely used therapeutics that would not otherwise be pursued due to low profitability. More than 77 researchers are listed in the network, which is supported by a steering committee of industry and academic leaders.

"The ARS project is a cornerstone of the ND3P," said Dr. Ken Bayles, co-principal investigator and UNMC vice chancellor for research. "It has demonstrated our capability to take specific chemical entities from the conceptual phase to pre-investigational new drug status and, ultimately, to the FDA. It provides proof-of-concept that the ND3P can be leveraged to carry important drug candidates across the 'valley of death,' therefore, serving as an alternate path toward FDA approval."

As a University Affiliated Research Center, NSRI and NU are considered trusted agents of the Department of Defense and federal government. Leading capabilities and unique qualifications such as comprehensive knowledge of Department of Defense requirements, quick response capacity and current operational experience allow leaders and scientists to create deep partnerships that mature and deliver - just like the ARS prophylactic, said retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick Evans, NSRI executive director.

"The reality is that current events and history demonstrate the need to always be ready, even in the case of radiation exposure," Evans said. "For those who have volunteered to protect our nation, we are obligated to help them be as prepared as possible, and that is the ultimate intent of this project and the ultimate purpose of our institute - to keep our warfighters safe."

Ted Carter, president of the University of Nebraska system and chairman of the NSRI board of directors, and Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, provost of the NU system, congratulated all involved.

Carter said: "This is a tremendous accomplishment for the University of Nebraska and our faculty. Not only is this contract a signal of Nebraska's leadership role in doing research that keeps our nation and warfighters safe, but it's a powerful statement of what is possible when we work together."

Gold said: "This is an example of the national impact that is possible when the University of Nebraska System's top investigators collaborate across the individual institutions."

Related Links
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
US envoy feasts on Fukushima fish, slams China water 'dumps'
Soma, Japan (AFP) Aug 31, 2023
The US envoy to Japan feasted on fish from Fukushima on Thursday, saying that water discharged from the crippled nuclear plant was safer than that "dumped" by Chinese atomic facilities. China banned all seafood imports from its neighbour last week after Japan began releasing wastewater from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean, accusing Tokyo of treating the ocean like a "sewer". "Japan over the decade has done exactly the right things in the right way. International scientific rigour, fully transpa ... read more

Artificial star

Station Hosts 11 Crewmates from Five Countries

A multinational crew blasts off from Florida, heading for the International Space Station

NASA challenges students to fly Earth and Space experiments

Another successful hot-fire test for Ariane 6 upper stage

Firefly Aerospace awarded multi-launch agreement with L3Harris

Musk threatens to sue anti-defamation group for falling revenue

Benchmark Space Systems cracks code for viable ASCENT propellant

Effect of geometric porosities on aerodynamic characteristics of supersonic parachutes

Copy and Paste at Gale Crater: Sols 3934-3935

Sols 3932-3933: Touch and Go, Go, Go!

NASA, Partners study ancient life in Australia to inform Mars search

From rice to quantum gas: China's targets pioneering space research

China to launch "Innovation X Scientific Flight" program, applications open worldwide

Scientists reveal blueprint of China's lunar water-ice probe mission

Shenzhou 15 crew share memorable moments from Tiangong Station mission

LeoStella and Hera Systems Establish Strategic Alliance

Viasat provides status update on Inmarsat-6 F2

Momentus announces reverse stock split

Pentagon awards contracts for next 'swarm' of tiny missile defense satellites

SatixFy announces strategic $60M transaction with MDA

A system to keep cloud-based gamers in sync

ReOrbit completes oversubscribed seed funding round

Terran Orbital unveils new product line of seven satellite buses

Scientists detect and validate the longest-period exoplanet found with TESS

Newly discovered planet has longest orbit yet detected by the TESS mission

Thermometer molecule confirmed on exoplanet WASP-31b

Accretion disks: How big are they really?

SwRI will lead Hubble, Webb observations of Io, Jupiter's volcanic moon

In the service of planetary science, astrophysics and heliophysics

Mysterious Neptune dark spot detected from Earth for the first time

Neptune's Disappearing Clouds Linked to the Solar Cycle

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.