, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Aethlon Medical, Inc. (OTCBB: AEMD), the pioneer in developing selective therapeutic filtration devices to address infectious disease, cancer and other life-threatening conditions, announced today that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has exercised an option agreement to proceed with year-two of a five-year
contract that was awarded to Aethlon on
September 30, 2011
under DARPA's Dialysis-Like Therapeutics (DLT) program.
As a result, Aethlon is able to initiate work toward year-two contract milestones ahead of the schedule. The second year of Aethlon's DLT contract contains eight milestones representing a potential of
in revenue opportunity. To date, Aethlon has invoiced
to DARPA for achieving seven of eight milestone objectives targeted in year-one of the DLT program. Aethlon further disclosed that it has completed its eighth year-one milestone objective worth
, but has not yet invoiced DARPA.
The Company also disclosed that it has teamed with two larger organizations in response to a follow-on DLT contract opportunity entitled DARPA BAA-12-36. The announcement of DARPA BAA-12-36 contract awards is anticipated later this fall.
The goal of the DLT program is to develop a portable device that removes "dirty" blood from the body, separates harmful agents, and returns "clean" blood to the body in a manner similar to dialysis treatment of kidney failure. The resulting device would decrease the morbidity and mortality of sepsis, thereby saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars in
the United States
annually. In the DLT program, Aethlon has been contracted to utilize the Aethlon ADAPT™ system to create an extracorporeal blood purification cartridge that selectively eliminates sepsis-enabling particles from circulation to promote recovery and prevent sepsis. The Aethlon ADAPT™ converges advanced plasma membrane technology with high affinity drug agents to allow the selective yet rapid clearance of disease targets from the entire circulatory system without damaging blood cells or removing particles essential for health. Aethlon has also been contracted to develop a novel blood circulatory instrument that will deliver ADAPT™ based and other therapeutic filtration devices without systemic anticoagulants normally required in extracorporeal therapies.
Beyond the civilian need for anti-sepsis therapies, the device proposed in the DLT program would play an important role in saving the lives of wounded U.S. military personnel, as infection leading to sepsis is a significant cause of mortality. When sepsis is complicated by shock, approximately half of patients do not survive for 30 days, even if effective antibiotics are used. Unfortunately, the fatality rate from sepsis can be high, given that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are an increasing problem for injured warfighters and military treatment facilities. Bio-agents engineered for resistance against antibiotics also represent a significant threat to both warfighters and citizens. Current culture-based methods of identifying blood-borne pathogens can take 48 hours or longer to identify the offending pathogen, and some blood-borne pathogens do not propagate in culture. Pending these culture results, septic patients are treated with protocol-based broad-spectrum antibiotics. In the event the offending pathogen is resistant to the empirically chosen antibiotic, the fatality rate may increase as much as 9% per hour.