The work, conducted by a multi-talented team of scientists, will provide critical data to help establish the safety of HOPO 14-1.
Inadvertent or malicious radiation exposure can have detrimental health impacts, and current treatment for internal radiation exposure is invasive and time consuming. SRI International has been working on the nonclinical development of HOPO 14-1, a novel orally administered experimental drug to treat radioactive contamination in the body, which is now in its first-in-human trial. Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the trial seeks to define the safety and tolerability profile of HOPO 14-1 in healthy participants.
The development of this drug was especially novel as the previously approved transuranic radionuclide decontamination drug, diethylenetriamine pentaacetate (DTPA), can only be administered intravenously or by nebulizer—both of which are less feasible options for rapidly treating large populations than the oral route of HOPO 14-1. An easier administration route is key for quickly treating people in emergency radiation contamination situations. The work conducted in SRI’s Biosciences Division has been critical to the advancement to the Phase 1 clinical trial stage.
There are several situations in which a drug that can remove radioactive contaminants—or radionuclides—from the body may be necessary. Radionuclides may be released after natural disasters, during accidents affecting nuclear power plants or nuclear materials storage sites, or in cases of nuclear warfare. If these radionuclides are absorbed into the human body, they can damage DNA, tissues, and organs, posing a potentially long-term serious health threat. In order to mitigate severe adverse health effects in the event of radioactive contaminant exposure, the best treatment strategy is to administer a chelating agent—a compound that binds to radionuclides—that will decorporate, or remove, the radionuclides from the body as quickly as possible.