RTI International has won a $2.1 million contract as part of a $22 million National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke campaign to develop a treatment for spin muscular atrophy.

RTI was awarded a subcontract to be part of the project by primary contractor SAIC.

Spinal muscular atrophy is a paralyzing neurodegenerative disease that occurs in one in 6,000 births annually in the U.S. it is the leading genetic cause of death among infants and toddlers, RTI said.

RTI will focus on ways to improve tests to screen for the disease through evaluating pharmacokinetic, pharmacologic and toxicologic properties of candidate drug compounds. Lead researcher is C. Edwin Garner.

RTI International: www.rti.org