Policy & Regulation
Platelet BioGenesis Receives Contract Worth Up to USD 56m from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to Develop Human Stem Cell-Derived Platelets as a Medical Countermeasure to Radiological and Nuclear Exposure
11 October 2019 - - US-based Platelet BioGenesis, Inc., a specialist in stem cell-derived, on-demand human platelets (PLTs+) and genetically engineered platelet-based therapeutics, was awarded a contract worth USD 5m, with the potential to reach USD 56m total with options, by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an agency of the US government's Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response, the company said.

PBG will use the funding to develop and establish donor-independent platelets as a medical countermeasure for treating victims of a nuclear or radiological event.

As part of national biodefense preparedness, BARDA has prioritized the development and procurement of therapies for trauma resulting from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense threats, including exposure to high doses of radiation.

BARDA, with its extensive experience working with organizations focused on blood-related therapies, has evaluated PBG's technology platform and determined that donor-independent platelets could be a critical medical countermeasure in case of a national threat.

PBG's research, development and manufacturing activities under the contract will specifically focus on the development of PLTs+ for the treatment of thrombocytopenia induced by exposure to nuclear radiation.

In addition to the funding, BARDA will provide a comprehensive, integrated portfolio approach through mentorship, the facilitation of future partnerships and the enablement of government collaborations with agencies such as the FDA.

Platelet BioGenesis has created the only platform that can generate human platelets at scale. The stem cell-derived, on-demand platelets will be the first donor-independent source of platelets to address the chronic shortage worldwide.

The company is also developing genetically engineered platelet-based therapeutics, a new treatment modality for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

PBG's platform is patented and cGMP-compliant. The company was spun out of Harvard University and has received venture funding from Qiming Venture Partners USA, Ziff Capital Partners and other investors and obtained grant funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Defense.