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Cleveland Bio Labs offers anti-radiation drug

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-957875.mp3

Buffalo, NY – A drug developed by Cleveland Bio Labs in Buffalo could end up playing a role in Japan's nuclear power plant crisis. It is an anti-radiation drug called Protectan.

The drug has been proven in some clinical trials to initially stop radiation effects up to 48-hours after exposure.

The anti-radiation sickness drug is on the "fast track" for FDA approval. But so far it has only be tested on animals.

Cleveland BioLabs president and CEO Michael Fonstein said he believes if the situation in Japan worsens, the drug could be useful to protect people exposed to radiation.

"We contracted appropriate U.S. agencies, and we let them know we have substantial amounts of drug, which is available if needed," said Fonstein.

Radiation exposure causes flu-like symptoms. But according to Fontstein that side effect disappeared within two to four hours during clinical trials of the drug.

"The drug works by basically inducing several mechanism, which involve in the decrease of death following high dose of radiation," said Fonstein.

In order for the drug to be used on humans, the FDA would need to approve it Since word spread of the drug, Cleveland BioLab stock shares jumped by 10% Monday. But Fonstein responded to that saying he hopes the drug won't be needed in Japan. Clinical trails are due to begin sometime this year to test the drugs effectiveness for cancer patients.