July 17, 2009
New drug offers radiation protection
A drug developed with Pentagon approval offers protection from radiation in the event of a nuclear attack, U.S. and Israeli researchers said.
The medication could offer effective protection in the event of nuclear or dirty bomb attacks, an exclusive report published Friday in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth said.The drug developed by Professor Andrei Gudkov may affect the future balance of world powers, the paper said, and will offer cancer sufferers better protection as they undergo radiation treatment.
The reporter spoke to Gudkov at his research laboratory at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Israeli scientist Dr. Elena Feinstein, who was involved in the research, said the drug's effectiveness and safety has been proved although it does not offer 100 percent protection.
In 2003, Gudkov came up with the idea of using proteins produced in bacteria found in the intestines, to protect cells against radiation, the paper said.
Monkeys exposed to radiation who received the medication survived without any side effects, he said. Seventy percent of those who did not receive the medication died.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the drug within a year or two, the report said.