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SwRI receives $1.89 million for chemical weapon antidote development

June 16, 2010 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) has been awarded a three-year, $1.89 million contract by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to develop and test new, small molecule compounds for use as antidotes to chemical warfare agents.

The use of nerve agents significantly threatens both military and civilian populations. Under this program, SwRI will lead a program to identify structurally novel, stable small-molecule compounds with improved physical chemical properties that are effective at protecting against organophosphate poisoning.

"The goal of this program is to identify new small molecule candidates as possible useful therapeutics for treating both central and peripheral effects of chemical warfare agent exposure," said Dr. Stanton McHardy, manager of Synthesis and Process Chemistry in SwRI's Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. "SwRI will collaborate with other researchers to develop a multi-disciplinary research program involving computational modeling, medicinal chemistry and biological screening."

The program began in fiscal year 2010 and will run through fiscal year 2012. McHardy, whose work prior to joining SwRI included a decade of neuroscience drug-discovery work for a major pharmaceutical research and development company, will serve as the principal investigator.

SwRI's Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division is ISO 9001:2008 certified, meeting international quality standards for product development, from initial design through production and servicing. For more information about SwRI's Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division, please visit chemistry.swri.org.

For more information about medicinal chemistry and drug development at SwRI, please visit synchemistry.swri.org

For more information contact Tracey Whelan at (210) 522-2256, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.