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Iasis awarded Army grant to develop burn treatments


A Spokane start-up pharmaceutical company has received a $1.38 million grant to develop new burn treatments for the Department of the Army.

Iasis Molecular Sciences will work with Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Connecticut Health Center to formulate and test compounds based on its research, Chief Executive Officer Dave Vachon said.

The goal of the 30-month effort will be a compound or compounds that can be tested on humans, he said.

“Our early research – the work that led to this generous award – has focused specifically on cases where there is considerable skin loss and damage, significant inflammation, and the oxidative stress that can lead to further tissue loss,” Vachon said. “The burn is sometimes just the beginning.”

He said a patent-protected “flagship” compound could be a building block for others that treat inflammation and its side effects.

The Army grant brings to almost $3 million the total Iasis has received for various research projects since he founded the company in 2007, Vachon said.

Iasis is based at Sirti, where the company will develop and test early-stage compounds. The universities will test their effectiveness, with results expected by early 2013.

“We’ve made excellent progress,” Vachon said. 

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