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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

BARDA funds development of oral drug to treat internal contamination from radioactive elements

Date:  September 29, 2011

Company: Nanotherapeutics Inc. of Alachua, Fla.

Contract amount: $4.8 million over 18-months and can be extended for a total of up to five years and up to $31.1 million

About the contract: Nanotherapeutics will conduct studies to develop an improved formulation of diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (DTPA) and improve manufacturing processes for it. As a chelating agent, DTPA can bind radioactive molecules to help the body remove them. It can be used to treat people who have inhaled or swallowed radioactive particles, or who have radioactive particles that entered the body through wounds.

The improved formulation, known as NanoDTPA, could be given by mouth and is being developed as a short-term treatment for people exposed to americium, curium, or plutonium.  These radioactive elements could be used as components of a radiological dispersion device, also known as a dirty bomb.

As licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, current forms of DTPA must be administered intravenously or by nebulizer, limiting their usefulness in an emergency.

Additional information: BARDA is seeking additional proposals for products that potentially could treat illness and injury from high levels of radiation, as well as improved diagnostic tools to measure the radiation dose a person has absorbed after a nuclear detonation or radiation accident.  Proposals are accepted through the Broad Agency Announcement BARDA-CBRN-BAA-11-100-SOL-00009 at

Press Release: BARDA supports development of oral radiation drug

Procurement Announcement:  Contract Awarded under BAA-BARDA-09-34

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  • This page last reviewed: January 12, 2018