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The University of Minnesota is partnering with a pharmaceutical company to design a device to quickly administer a new antidote for cyanide poisoning.

With a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, researchers with University’s Center for Drug Design and the College of Pharmacy are collaborating with Windgap Medical to design an autoinjector. According to a release from the university, their goal is to develop a valuable tool for first responders to use in saving victims of cyanide poisoning.

The five-year grant comes from the NIH’s CounterACT program, which aims to prepare countermeasures against chemical threats that have the potential to be used as weapons. Officials report that in addition to terrorist attacks, toxic levels of cyanide exposure can also come from building fires and industrial accidents.

The autoinjector will be based on an antidote called sulfanegen, which was recently developed and refined by Patterson as well as College of Pharmacy colleagues Robert Vince, director of the Center for Drug Design, and adjunct professor Herbert Nagasawa. The formulation was patented with assistance from U of M Technology Commercialization. 

Read the full story on KMSP (FOX 9).