UK Gov awards AMRI nerve agent countermeasure development contract

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

AMRI awarded nerve gas API development contract
AMRI awarded nerve gas API development contract
AMRI has won a contract worth £760,000 ($1.25m) to develop and manufacture an API for a venture led by the UK Government.

Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI) will - through its subsidiary in Holywell - Wales, work on the development and scale-up of an investigational antidotal oxime - a treatment for nerve agent poisoning - for the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), acting on behalf of the syndicate involving the UK, Dutch and Canadian Defense departments.

For now, Louis Garguilo, VP of Business Development, told this publication the firm didn’t know the exact number of clinical trials that will need to be undertaken, but the seven year contract will see AMRI manufacture and supply the drug throughout the process, leaving it in a strong position to supply the drug commercially.

AMRI has not has not worked on this specific API but has some experience with a related product from its Rensselaer, New York facility, according to Garguilo, who we asked about any requirements the Welsh plant may have to undergo.

He said: “AMRI does not believe it will incur any additional equipment or other changes in the plant to develop and manufacture this new API, and we will be able to work it into our future manufacturing schedule.”

API countermeasure

The DSTL put out an invitation to apply for the contract in August and, according to the document​, eight companies competed for the £758,000 tender.

Vicky Torraca, a DSTL spokesperson, told us: “The tenders received were evaluated using the method stated and AMRI’s offer was assessed to be the best overall proposal having scored well both on Technical and Commercial aspects.”

The product - known as HI-6 DMS - is “being investigated as a possible active ingredient as a medical countermeasure against organophosphate exposure” ​but for now the work is at the early stages, she added.

Organophosphate poisoning may occur following exposure to insecticides or nerve gas, though Torraca did not divulge the reason it was being developed by the venture involving  the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, the Department of National Defence of Canada and Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Related topics: Drug Delivery

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