Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have been awarded a $6.6 million contract to complete development of a drug designed to remove radiation from the body.

A form of an acid known as DTPA, the drug would be administered orally to people affected by radiation from a nuclear accident or a so-called dirty bomb.

The contract is with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

The UNC-CH team at the has been working on the drug for five years. Dr. Michael Jay is leading the effort.

"It cannot be made into tablets, is not particularly stable, is difficult to chemically analyze and tastes awful," Jay said.

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