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DARPA Seeks to Develop Genetics-Based Med Tech

1 min read

Jeff Brody

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a four-year effort to develop new genetics-based applications addressing two public health issues. DARPA said Thursday that its Preemptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements or PREPARE program aims to control protective genes for defense against influenza and ionizing radiation. 

“Researchers working within the PREPARE program seek to improve rates of survival and recovery in catastrophic scenarios for which reliable and scalable countermeasures don’t currently exist,” said Renee Wegrzyn, PREPARE program manager.

The agency has identified five teams to pursue projects under the program. Three of which will focus on Influenza, and two others will address ionizing gamma radiation. All teams will work to propose at least one new medical product to the Food and Drug Administration for review. The teams will coordinate with FDA across the program to keep projects within regulatory standards.

The PREPARE participants are: 

  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • DNARx
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School