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Lexington biotech firm Pulmatrix Inc. has won a $5.7 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense, to develop technology aimed at treating and preventing respiratory infections due to weaponized, engineered or naturally occurring pathogens.

The grant will help Pulmatrix initiate preclinical studies of drug candidates stemming from the company’s inhaled cationic airway lining modulators (iCALM) technology. The company intends to ultimately produce a combination drug-device that both soldiers and civilians alike may use to defend themselves against airborne threats, such as tularemia, anthrax and influenza. Its iCalm technology is, as Pulmatrix reported in a press release today, part of DARPA’s goal for a 7-day Biodefense Initiative.

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