SOURCE: Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

October 28, 2009 10:00 ET

Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute Wins $4.4 Million Contract From National Institutes of Health to Research Anthrax

Bioterrorist Attacks Involving Anthrax Remains High National Priority

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwire - October 28, 2009) - Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) was recently awarded a contract to continue research due to the potential for bioterrorist attacks involving Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The contract requires the development of a large animal model of inhalation anthrax to test medical countermeasures for the treatment of inhalational anthrax.

Robert W. Rubin, PhD, CEO and president of LRRI, said, "The award of this contract is significant to the Institute and to our continued recognition as the primary respiratory research company in the US." He continued, "Our ability to fast-track any research for many of the most dangerous bioterrorist chemicals used in warfare today is a valuable contribution to the body of research and for the safety of this country."

The research will be headed by two leading scientists at LRRI. Robert Sherwood, PhD, has more than 25 years of experience in the development, characterization and use of small pre-clinical animal models of infection. Dr. Sherwood is a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist. He is the Director of Applied Life Sciences and Toxicology, and is the author or coauthor of over 75 publications and abstracts. Drew Cawthon, PhD, is Director of Preclinical Microbiology and Immunotoxicology. His research includes conducting Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza studies in preclinical models, as well as developing a number of other preclinical models in support of efficacy testing of vaccines and therapeutics.

The research calls for the development of a large animal model of inhalation anthrax to test medical countermeasures for the treatment of inhalational anthrax. Since animal efficacy information will be central to product licensure for treatment indication, the development of robust preclinical models of inhalational anthrax disease is essential.

The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute is a private, biomedical research organization dedicated to improving public health through research on the prevention, treatment and cure of respiratory disease. LRRI is based in Albuquerque, NM, employs 103 PhD level scientists and is an $82 million company. www.lrri.org

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