Pulmatrix Inc. landed a $5.7 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop a drug/device combination aimed at protecting military personnel and civilians against biological weapons.
DARPA selected the Lexington, Mass.-based company as part of its “7-day Biodefense Initiative,” a project to develop inhaled therapeutics for respiratory infections caused by airborne agents.
The grant will fund development and preclinical studies on drug candidates for Pulmatrix‘s inhaled cationic airway lining modulators, the company said. The goal is to create a "field-deployable drug/device combination to protect the warfighter and civilians against an array of airborne threats including anthrax, tularemia, and different strains of influenza," according to the company.
“This DARPA award and the 2009 [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] grant we received are validation of the value and utility of broad spectrum inhaled therapeutics that can treat both bacterial and viral infections, the one-size-fits-many approach,” CEO Robert Connelly said in prepared remarks.
The company received a $2.2 million NIAID grant (PDF) for developing a flu treatment in November 2009.
In a separate announcement, Pulmatrix named Eva Jack to its newly created position of chief business officer. Jack, who will oversee strategic initiatives for the company’s products, most recently served as managing director for MedImmune Ventures, the corporate venture fund of MedImmune LLC.