BLACKSBURG, Va. - Brett Malone, a Wellsburg native and president of Techulon Inc., has announced that his company has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for a Phase II contract to advance its therapeutic program for multi-drug resistant bacteria, or superbugs.
This award drives Techulon's development of a nanotherapeutic agent that will give the Department of Defense and hospitals the ability to rapidly respond and treat patients with life-threatening, multi-drug resistant infections.
Techulon successfully completed an early feasibility program of its technology platform in 2012 with DARPA.
Drug-resistant bacteria are a pervasive and growing problem to both military and civilian health care facilities and create more than $30 billion in cost and 100,000 deaths per year. Funding from DARPA will provide resources for Techulon to advance its technology through critical milestones toward human clinical trials.
"We are pleased to extend our work in rapidly adaptable therapeutics with DARPA. This program will lead to better therapies for wounded soldiers and civilians affected by multi-drug resistant hospital-acquired infections," said Joshua Bryson, Techulon CSO.
Malone, a Virginia Tech Ph.D., said the partnership with DARPA "helps us continue to build value in our clinical initiatives and ultimately have an impact on the health care industry with a new generation of therapeutics."
"Our approach is feasible in many disease areas, including drug-resistant infections, and we are excited to be working with the agency to solve such a devastating problem." he said.
Techulon is leading the next generation of disease treatment through development of innovative nucleic acid therapeutics. The company is headquartered in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg and was founded in 2006 by Virginia Tech College of Science alumni with the mission to bring new technologies to intractable diseases.
DARPA's mission is to maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military and prevent technological surprise from harming national security by sponsoring revolutionary, high-payoff research bridging the gap between fundamental discoveries and their military use.