Cellerant Therapeutics has been awarded a $153m contract by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development of CLT-008.

CLT-008 is a medication to treat illnesses caused by exposure to high levels of ionising radiation.

The drug uses myeloid progenitor cells, which are capable of growing into any kind of blood cells that the body requires.

CLT-008 could potentially be used to treat neutropenia, a condition where abnormally low number of white blood cells are present, blood disorders and complications in cancer that require blood cells and platelets to be replenished.

Under the contract, Cellerant Therapeutics would receive $63.2m in the first two years, and an additional $89.9m for up to three further years.

The company plans to conduct further studies and validate its manufacturing process to apply for US Food and Drug Administration licensure for the drug.