Icoria, a developer of technology related to biomarkers for drug development and other research, has signed a contract with the US Army for work related to chemical warfare agent detection.

Using metabolomic biomarkers, Icoria and the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, hope to develop what they called “novel molecular mechanisms” that could lead to prophylactic and therapeutic treatments for victims of chemical warfare agent exposure as well as diagnostic field tests.

“This is a logical application of our research work aimed at understanding the low level effects of nerve agent exposure,” said Joseph Zarzycki, director of Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, in a statement. “Identifying the mechanism of action of nerve agents may provide useful information to help us in our mission to protect soldiers, civilians and first responders.”

The research will involve studies of blood and selected organs of rats exposed to low levels of the deadly VX nerve gas.

Icoria: www.icoria.com