AVI BioPharma gets up to $18M to study swine flu

Officials with AVI BioPharma Inc., recently announced that they have entered into an $18 million deal with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, according to a Portland Business Journal news report.

AVI BioPharma officials said the deal involves its drug, AVI-7100, which is used to combat swine flu. The deal comes on the heels of a similar $4 million deal that the company made with the DTRA Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative.

Under that deal, AVI BioPharma received funds to develop swine flu drugs and to fund research into avian flu and drug-resistant swine flu and other flu strains.

J. David Boyle II, AVI BioPharma's president and CEO, told the Portland Business Journal that the partnership with DTRA was a win-win for everyone.

“We greatly value TMTI’s increasing recognition of the utility of our technology and our potential to help TMTI meet their need to be ready and able to respond quickly and effectively to viral threats,” Boyle said.

The DTRA was formed in 1998 to respond to threats of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical, biological and radiation threats. The TMTI was created by the U.S. Department of Defense to study ways to protect soldiers from biological threats by developing medical countermeasures.