The United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) has announced intentions to award a sole source contract to Cleveland Biolabs for advanced development of Entolimod (CBLB502) to mitigate and treat the acute effects of ionizing radiation.
Entolimod is in development as a countermeasure against death following total body irradiation. Acute radiation syndrome (ARS) results from damage to hematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and other tissues due to high levels of radiation exposure, such as might occur following the explosion of a nuclear weapon. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for ARS.
Entolimod is a recombinant protein that acts as an agonist of toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), an innate immunity receptor. Entolimod activation of TLR5 triggers NF-kB signaling, mobilizing an innate immune response that drives expression of numerous genes, including inhibitors of apoptosis, scavengers of reactive oxygen species, and a spectrum of protective or regenerative cytokines.
The efficacy of entolimod as a radiation countermeasure has been assessed in animal models. These studies demonstrate that a single administration of entolimod given either before or after lethal total body irradiation leads to a significant improvement in animal survival.
Sources: FBO.gov, Cleveland Bio