The DEFCON Warning System™

Ongoing GeoIntel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.  DEFCON Level assessment issued for public notification.  Established 1984.

North Korea threats spur U.S. search for new radiation therapies

The escalating threat of a potential nuclear war between North Korea and the United States has led the Department of Defense to join hands with a clutch of companies in developing more effective medical treatments for acute radiation syndrome.

The hostility between the two nations reached a new height last November after Pyongyang fired an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

Health officials in Washington say they have adequate stocks in the event of a nuclear attack and subsequent mass radiation poisonings.

But statements by a handful of drug developers and partnerships the government have announced suggest the DoD is stepping up efforts to develop stronger treatments that could protect the military and civilians ahead of a nuclear attack.

The DoD’s budget allocated $3.9 million of its total funding to develop such medical countermeasures in 2018, an increase of $600,000 from a year ago.

However, the numbers available on a handful of contracts issued to firms including Cleveland BioLabs Inc and privately held Humanetics Corp show funding of at least $13 million, suggesting that other departments of the military agency are investing in the area.

The reward for a successful drug developer is high: in 2013, the government spent $157 million to stockpile Amgen Inc’s nearly three decades old drug, Neupogen, but it and other stockpile drugs are limited as they only treat certain after-effects of radiation exposure.

Medical experts say that the increased $700 billion military budget signed into law by President Donald Trump last month could put more emphasis on programs to counter the North Korean threat and may allow a large outlay for new treatments.

Read more at Reuters

Ongoing Geointel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.

© 2024 The DEFCON Warning System. Established 1984.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.