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DARPA Taps Company for Tech to Remove Toxins, Biowarfare Agents in Blood

By Dawn Lim

Nextgov.com

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded therapeutic device maker CytoSorbents Corp. up to $3.8 million to develop a product to remove toxic substances and biowarfare agents from the blood of injured troops, the company announced (see GSN, June 20).

The goal is to create machines that reduce casualties from sepsis, which occurs when the body releases chemicals in a fatal, overzealous immune response to infections, causing organ damage and shock. About 1,500 service members were affected by sepsis in 2009, according to the Pentagon.

CytoSorbents will make chemicals that remove substances in blood that induce sepsis, such as toxins and biowarfare agents, the company said.

DARPA has designated $1.5 million in funding for the first of five years of the research effort. The full amount received is contingent on CytoSorbents meeting research milestones, according to the statement.

The company, based in Monmouth Junction, N.J., is being funded under a program called Dialysis-like therapeutics. DARPA-supported researchers will work to build a portable device that removes "dirty" blood from the body, and returns purified blood to the body, similar to how patients with kidney failure are treated with dialysis.

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