NEWS | Jan. 29, 2021

DOD Supports Phase III Clinical Trial Using Fostamatinib (TAVALISSE®) Against COVID-19

By Press Release JPEO-CBRND

The JPM CBRN Medical executed an agreement with Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to study the effectiveness of TAVALISSE® against COVID-19.

FORT DETRICK, Md. – January 29, 2021 – The Department of Defense (DOD) awarded a $16.5 million agreement to Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to cost-share the execution of a Phase III clinical trial to test the company’s drug, TAVALISSE®, for COVID-19 treatment.

The drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adults with low platelet counts due to chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), but if repurposed for a COVID-19 indication could potentially target both the cytokine storm associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection (when the bloodstream is flooded with cytokines, killing tissue and damaging organs), and thrombotic effects of COVID-19 (when blood clots block veins or arteries and can lead to life-threatening complications). Rigel will conduct the clinical trial to determine if TAVALISSE® prevents progression to severe COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. 

The Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement was executed by the DOD’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense’s (JPEO-CBRND) Joint Project Manager for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Medical (JPM CBRN Medical), in collaboration with the U.S. Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground, using Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

“Working alongside our industry partners to continue our fight against COVID-19 is crucial to the health and readiness of the Joint Force,” said Col. Ryan Eckmeier, the Joint Project Manager for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Medical. “These clinical trials may lead to the prevention of severe COVID-19 symptoms in our warfighters, bringing them more rapidly back to the fight.”

About the JPEO-CBRND: The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) protects the Joint Force by providing medical countermeasures and defense equipment against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. JPEO-CBRND’s goal is to enable the Joint Force to fight and win unencumbered by a CBRN environment. JPEO-CBRND facilitates the rapid response, advanced development, manufacturing and acquisition of medical solutions, such as vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, to combat CBRN and emerging threats such as COVID-19. To learn more about JPEO-CBRND’s COVID-19 response, visit https://www.jpeocbrnd.osd.mil/coronavirus or follow JPEO-CBRND on social media at @JPEOCBRND.

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