NeoImmuneTech to team up with NIAID to tackle radiation sickness

Jan. 3, 2023

Maryland-based biotech NeoImmuneTech announced this week that it has entered a partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health  — to develop its Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) treatment, NT-I7.

The two will work together to design a study plan for the drug in rodents, which the NIAID will conduct with provided NT-I7. With data from these studies in hand, the biotech would seek FDA approval for the drug under the ‘Animal Rule’ which makes it possible to approve therapies for which human efficacy studies are not ethical or possible. 

NT-17 is NeoImmuneTech’s main asset, and a long-acting immunoglobulin (Ig) fusion protein made up of the human protein interleukin-7 and a hybrid region of a human antibody that has hematopoietic and immunoprotective properties. It works by stimulating the proliferation, differentiation, trafficking and survival of a variety of T-cell subsets, enhancing overall T-cell-mediated anti-tumor immune responses. 

ARS — also known as radiation toxicity or radiation sickness — is caused by damage done to the body following radiation exposure over a short period of time. The severity of symptoms depends on how much radiation has been absorbed, and it also depends on the sensitivity of the affected tissue. Currently, there is no therapeutic option for the acceleration of T-cell recovery following radiation exposure.