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DARPA Seeks to Address Viral Disease Outbreaks Via Nucleic Acid-Based Platform Devt Program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has introduced a new program that seeks to develop a platform designed to stop the spread of viral infections in less than two months through the use of nucleic acid sequences.

The Pandemic Prevention Platform seeks to “create a technology platform that can place a protective treatment into health providers’ hands within 60 days of a pathogen being identified, and have that treatment induce protection in patients within three days of administration,” Matt Hepburn, P3 program manager at DARPA, said in a statement published Monday.

The four-year program will focus on three technology areas that include the growth of virus to facilitate evaluation of treatments in laboratory tests, evolution of antibodies outside of the body to build up potency and development of delivery methods for nucleic acid-based therapies.

Program participants will demonstrate their platforms in five simulations through the use of their preferred and DARPA-selected pathogens and will be required to test their technologies through a phase I clinical study.

DARPA will host Proposers Days on Feb. 22 in McLean, Virginia, and on March 2 in San Diego.

The agency will accept proposal abstracts for the program through March 13 and full proposals through May 1, according to a FedBizOpps notice posted Monday.

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