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Immuron Receives $3.7M In Federal Dollars For Traveler's Diarrhea Preventative Therapy Project

Shanthi Rexaline

Shares of thinly traded nano-cap biotech IMMURON LTD/S ADR (NASDAQ: IMRN) were off to a flying start Wednesday morning.

What Happened

The Australian biotech said it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center, or NMRC, to collaborate on the manufacturing and evaluation of a new product designed to protect against traveler's diarrhea caused by campylobacter and ETEC pathogens.

Immuron, which focuses on developing oral immunotherapies for the prevention and treatment of gut-mediated pathogens, said the Department of Defense has approved funding of $3.7 million for the project. 

The product will be tested using two controlled human infection model clinical trials, Immuron said: one focusing on the ability of the hyperimmune product to protect volunteers against moderate to severe campylobacteriosis, and a second trial focusing on ETEC infections.

Why It's Important

"Campylobacter jejuni and ETEC are leading causes of traveler's diarrhea and represent a major burden for deployed U.S. troops," Dr. Frederic Poly, the head of the campylobacter research division in the NMRC's entetic diseases department, said in a statement. 

Each year, an estimated 1.5 billion episodes of diarrhea are seen in gastroenterology clinics, which leads to deaths of about 2.2 million people, Immuron said, citing NIH estimates. 

Immuron already has an ongoing project with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research focused on shigella.

The company sees the collaborative project with the NMRC as enhancing its efforts to raise the profile of its flagship product Travelan and its in-house clinical program to develop IMM-124E as an approved drug to treat traveler's diarrhea.

Immuron shares were trading 11.57% higher at $2.99 at the time of publication. 

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