Mycotoxin is naturally occurring and is a toxic small molecule produced by fungi. These fungal toxins are representative of a large number of lipophilic agents that pose significant acute and chronic dangers to military combatants as potential warfare agents. There are many examples of mycotoxins, some more acutely potent than others. Mycotoxin is classified as hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, immunotoxins, and carcinogens. Mycotoxin could also be a threat to the public health due to food, water or air contamination. Currently, there are no treatments for mycotoxin exposure in either the acute or chronic setting, and the lack of an effective therapeutic could be catastrophic. In order to protec the safety and health of military personnel and civilians, there is a need to develop a therapeutic and prophylactic drug, which can effectively reduce concentrations below its toxic level and minimize the incidence of clinical toxicity. Luna proposes to develop nanoparticle scavengers that can efficiently sequester the lipophilic mycotoxins in vivo and facilitate their clearance. Ths nanotechnology-based approach offers the potential to treat people under suspicion of actual or potential mycotoxin poisoning. Phase I efforts will focus on demonstrating proof-of-concept in vivo efficacy at attenuating mycotoxin-induced acute toxicities, and demonstrating the safe use of Luna's nanoparticles in one rodent species. Phase II efforts will focus on IND-enabling preclinical studies. Success of the program will provide a valuable medical countermeasure tool against mycotoxins, and it may also find clinical applications for other lipophilic toxins or for overdosed drug toxicities. The nanoparticle antidotes could be important for the Strategic National Stockpile in preparing for an emergency involving bioterrorism. Thus, this proposed technology is of great interest to the public health, and also enhances the nation's preparedness against potential mycotoxin attacks.
Mycotoxin is naturally occurring and is a toxic small molecule produced by organisms of the fungus kingdom, and it is representative of a large number of lipophilic molecular agents that pose significant acute and chronic dangers to military combatants as potential biochemical warfare agents. There are no current treatments for exposure to such agents, and in a potential event of mycotoxin attack, the lack of an effective therapeutic could be catastrophic. This project proposes the development scavenging nanoparticle based medical countermeasures that are capable of efficiently sequestering lipophilic mycotoxins, and facilitating their excretion in vivo resulting in reduced toxicities.