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AVI BioPharma Gets Contract To Work On Counters To Possible Biological WMD

The United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) awarded AVI BioPharma a contract to work on a drug to counter the Junin virus. There are concerns that this virus could be weaponized and used as a biological agent. The contract is worth over $11 million.

The contract is part of a program to develop measures to protect U.S. troops and civilians from Junin, Ebola and the Marburg viruses. AVI BioPharma Inc. is a company based in Washington state that is working on drugs based on RNA. They are also working on treatments for “muscular dystrophy and for the treatment of cardiovascular restenosis” as well as various viruses like Junin.

Obviously over the last several years the U.S. Government is concerned with treating populations as well as their military and civil servants fro these kind of diseases. Not only are their operations in parts of the world where these are more common Ebola and other blood diseases are a threat for use as a WMD. There will probably be many other contracts for this kind of work awarded over the next few decades.

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