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EHPnet: The Manhattan Project Cleanup

Journal
Environmental Health Perspectives
0091-6765
Publisher
Environmental Health Perspectives
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Environews: Forum
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Forum and the solvent tri-n-butyl phosphate, ingre- dients that also stabilize the emulsion. D. Craig Wright, president of the biologics and research division at Novavax, a biopharma- ceutical company in Rockville, Maryland, and one of the inventors of BCTP, says that Triton X-100 and tri-n-butyl phosphate are also used in the plasma industry to purify blood products such as hemoglobin. Spores have yet to demonstrate tolerance to the treatment. This may be due to BCTP's unique mechanism of action, which also works on other organisms with protective coatings, such as enveloped viruses. "It's so simple," Wright says, "people wonder why others haven't done this before-we've won- dered that ourselves." BCTP has been shown to be effective in dilutions as high as 1 part per 1,000 parts culture medium. In tests on recent BCTP formulations, says James R. Baker, Jr., director of the University of Michigan Center for Biologic Nanotechnology in Ann Arbor and director of the animal studies, BCTP kills 95% of anthrax spores within one hour. Preclinical mucosal-sur- face studies have been completed, and Phase I human studies for mucosal toler- ance are being developed to ensure that BCTP won't irritate the nasopharyngeal passage. Baker and colleagues are also launching a series of animal tests for inhalatory use. Baker says, "Because of [BCTP's] efficacy in other areas, we are hopeful it will also be effective in prevent- ing disease in the lungs." As a defense against biological warfare, the treatment would need to be applied topically within one hour of exposure, and could also be applied to the skin for pro- phylactic use, for instance, prior to going into battle. As a safeguard against influen- za, Baker envisions a nasal spray that could be inhaled every 4-6 hours during flu sea- son or when going into a crowded situa- tion, such as at an airport or school. Other applications in development include hand creams, mouthwashes, and lotions that kill bacteria and viruses on contact. The scientists are also

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