KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MRIGlobal today announced that it has been awarded a $6.2 million, 5-year program from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for the development of a vaccine for tularemia.
The award continues a long-standing international co-operation to develop a tularemia vaccine.
Tularemia is a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Rabbits, hares, and rodents are especially susceptible to tularemia and often die during outbreaks. Humans can become infected in several ways including tick and deer fly bites; skin contact with infected animals; ingestion of contaminated water; inhalation of contaminated dust or aerosols; and acts of bioterrorism.
"This award builds upon our 2002 commitment to deliver a tularemia vaccine to the U.S. Government," said Thomas M. Sack, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MRIGlobal. "We are honored to lead the collaboration with this distinguished team of researchers."
Previous efforts and cooperation among US and foreign entities generated a vaccine that was less reactive and more protective than other tularemia vaccine candidates. The current award will help to advance the new vaccine candidate by supporting scaled-up manufacturing, large animal studies, and studies aimed at understanding how the vaccine produces immunity.
About MRIGlobal MRIGlobal, an independent research and development organization, delivers solutions in global health, national security and defense, and energy and the environment. The organization performs scientific research, advanced engineering, and program integration and management for clients in industry, government, and academia. Established in 1944 as Midwest Research Institute, MRIGlobal is based in Kansas City, Mo., and operates in nine states and Washington, D.C. MRIGlobal employs more than 500 and manages 2,600-plus workers through management and operations programs with various clients.
MRIGlobal is one of two partners in the Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC, which manages and operates the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., for the U.S. Department of Energy.