DARPA to Host Workshop on Synthetic Polymer-Based Medicine R&D Program

Health research managementThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will conduct a workshop in Southbridge, Massachusetts, on June 29 to discuss a program that seeks to develop medicines designed to retain potency for long periods of time amid exposure to extreme conditions on the battlefield.

DARPA said Tuesday researchers under the Fold F(x) program aim to design biotherapeutics and diagnostic tests based on synthetic polymers with more than one billion sequences that work to fold into three-dimensional shapes to perform biomedical functions.

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a non-natural polymer designed to detect anthrax, a biowarfare agent, through the Fold F(x) program.

The MIT team also has teamed up with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases under the program to screen and develop synthetic biopolymers that interact with Ebola in order to develop potential treatments to the virus.

SRI International, Harvard University, University of California at Irvine, Scripps Research Institute and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory also collaborate with DARPA on the Fold F(x) program.

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