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Matt Hepburn: New DARPA Tech Program Seeks to Help Human Body ‘Cope with Infection’

medical health doctorThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a new program that seeks to develop medical intervention systems intended to help the human body cope with different types of pathogens.

DARPA’s Technologies for Host Resilience program will study the biology of host tolerance in animals before extending the program’s scope to treating humans, the agency said Tuesday.

“Our aim with THoR is to lay the foundation for new treatments that would enable the body to more easily and safely cope with infection,” said Col. Matt Hepburn, DARPA program manager.

“Among other potential advantages, these new treatments would prevent the body’s overreaction to infection and buy time for the individual’s natural recovery mechanisms to kick in,” Hepburn added.

DARPA intends for the THoR program to minimize the use of antibiotics, bolster efforts to decrease microbes’ resistance to antibiotic and develop treatment for sepsis.

In addition to animal studies, the program is meant to identify biological tolerance mechanisms and test pro-tolerance interventions on animal populations.

DARPA plans to hold an event on April 27 to update participants on the technical objectives of THoR.

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