Back in 2016, a team from Inserm had made a major contribution to the development of an aerosol capable of rapidly administering, into the deepest reaches of the lungs, an antidote to ricin. Ricin is highly toxic when inhaled and dreaded in the event of a bioterrorism attack.
Three years: this is the time it took an Inserm team at the Research Center for Respiratory Diseases (Tours) to develop an aerosol capable of depositing a ricin antidote into the deepest reaches of the lungs. This research was performed as part of an international consortium, involving the Université de Tours, the French Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute (IRBA) and DTF medical (Saint-Etienne), a company specialized in innovative medical devices.
Among the challenges addressed: adapt this antibody for clinical use and, above all, succeed in effectively delivering it into the lungs – particularly into the small air sacs where ricin has a devastating effect. This is the reason why the French army sought the help of an Inserm laboratory specialized in biological medicinal product administration via the respiratory route. The project was funded by the French government defense procurement and technology agency (DGA).
Nathalie Heuze Vourc'h
U1100 CENTRE D'ETUDE DES PATHOLOGIES RESPIRATOIRES (CEPR)
INNOVATIONS TECHNOLOGIQUES ET THERAPEUTIQUES POUR LE TRAITEMENT INHALE DES PATHOLOGIES RESPIRATOIRES
R. Respaud et coll. Development of a drug delivery system for efficient alveolar delivery of a neutralizing monoclonal antibody to treat pulmonary intoxication to ricin. J Control Release, édition en ligne du 9 mai 2016