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Protecting children from nerve agents

By Wally Northway

While Mississippi State University scientists work on an antidote for nerve agents for use by the military, the federal government is looking for nerve agent treatments for children.

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an effective, faster-acting and longer-lasting pediatric medication to treat seizures caused by nerve agents will be studied and purchased under a Project BioShield contract from HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

» READ MORE: Finding an antidote — Scientists work on making nerve agents obsolete

There are no currently approved medications to treat seizures caused by nerve agents, HHS reports.

Under a five-year, $60-million contract, Meridian Medical Technologies Inc. of Columbia, Md., a Pfizer company, will conduct studies of midazolam to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the drug’s use in treating seizures caused by nerve agents. Meridian also will seek FDA approval of a midazolam auto-injector for children and adults, and seek approval of midazolam for use in treating common prolonged seizures.

About Wally Northway

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