CHICAGO, March 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Department has exercised a contract option with Advanced Life Sciences Holdings Inc. to continue development of a biological defense therapy.
U.S. company Advanced Life Sciences was awarded the contract option for the development of its cethromycin antibiotic. Under the $2 million deal, Advanced Life Sciences will work to establish cethromycin as a broad-spectrum medical countermeasure bio-support defense therapy.
Officials said the contract option would fund studies of the cethromycin antibiotic as a therapy to counter tularemia, plague and melioidosis bioterrorism threats.
"The Defense Department's decision to exercise its option to the full amount of the contract represents a strong vote of confidence in the potential of cethromycin as a bio-defense therapy, and it enables us to complete pivotal studies to expand cethromycin's potential spectrum of activity in bio-defense beyond the success that was demonstrated in preventing inhalation anthrax," Michael Flavin, Advanced Life Sciences chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.