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Cleveland BioLabs gets fund boost

Cleveland BioLabs is picking up an additional $2.3 million in funding from the federal government to help develop one of its drugs that could be used to reduce the side effects from radiation exposure.

The Buffalo-based life sciences company said Thursday that the Department of Health and Human Services increased the funding under a three-year contract initially awarded last year. That contract originally was worth $13.3 million but now has a value of $15.6 million, the company said.

The additional funds will support Cleveland BioLabs' clinical studies of its Protectan CBLB502 drug, which could protect soldiers -- and eventually civilians -- from the harmful effects of radiation exposure.

Cleveland BioLabs earlier this year completed the first phase of safety tests on healthy human volunteers -- research used to determine potential side effects and dosage limits for Protectan. The drug also has been tested extensively on nonhuman primates.

The next phase of the clinical studies will be a second, larger phase of human safety tests on as many as 500 volunteers. Additional testing on monkeys also will continue into next year.

The company earlier this week was awarded an additional $459,000 in funding from the National Institutes of Health to continue studies into how Protectan can reduce damage to the blood and bone marrow caused by radiation exposure.

That additional funding is on top of $774,000 the company already had received under the same grant.

e-mail: drobinson@buffnews.com

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