The federal government is pouring another $3 million into a Chapel Hill firm that hopes to develop a means of helping people recover from exposure to radiation.

G-Zero Therapeutics said Friday that it had won a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases through the Small Business Innovation Research program. The firm landed a $60,000 Phase I grant in 2009.

Its technology is focused on “radiomitigants” that could mitigate damage done by radiation. The company noted that “currently, no effective therapy exists to mitigate bone marrow toxicity of radiation when given after radiation exposure.” Damage to the bone marrow leads to reduction in blood cell production.

Executives believe that the small molecules under development also have potential use in cancer therapy.

G-Zero envisions the inhibitors it is developing as a tool to combat radiation exposure and also for biodefense in the event of an attack with weapons of mass destruction.

The company launched in 2008. Its founders include Dr. Norman Sharpless, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Kwok-Kin Wong, Harvard Medical School, and Dr. John Chant.

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