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Aeolus Pharmaceuticals inks deal worth up to $118 million

Under the federal contract, the Mission Viejo-based firm will develop a treatment for lung acute radiation syndrome.

By Caitlin AdamsPublished: February 17, 2011 10:01 AM

Mission Viejo-based Aeolus Pharmaceuticals has received a federal contract valued at up to $118 million over five years to develop a treatment for lung acute radiation syndrome.

Aeolus is a biopharmaceutical company creating a range of catalytic antioxidant compounds that reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and tissue damage resulting from radiation exposure.

The company's agreement with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, covers the development of Aeolus’ AEOL 10150 compound as a “medical countermeasure” against the pulmonary sub-condition of acute radiation syndrome following nuclear exposure.

Under the deal, Aeolus will receive $10.4 million in funding over a one-year base period, plus up to an additional $107.5 million in options if exercised by BARDA. The contract could also cover costs for preclinical, chemistry, manufacturing, and controls and toxicology needed for oncology validations, as well as a safety study in humans.

“We are excited to have the support of BARDA for this important program and look forward to a highly productive relationship to develop an effective countermeasure to the pulmonary effects of ARS,” said Aeolus Pharmaceuticals President and CEO John L. McManus. “This contract will allow us to accelerate the development of 10150 as a medical countermeasure, and it will also, importantly, allow us to expand its development for use in oncology indications, where it would be used in combination with radiation therapy.”

Aeolus believes that the contract will take the treatment up to the FDA approval stage. The company plans to begin an oncology study of AEOL 10150 within the first six months of the year.

The compound also is being studied by the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Radiation/Nuclear Medical Countermeasures development program to counteract radiation exposure to the gastrointestinal tract and by the NIH CounterAct for chlorine gas and sulfur mustard gas exposure.

“We believe that the dual-use, broad-spectrum characteristics of AEOL 10150 make it a very unique and exciting compound with excellent potential,” McManus said.

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