Both the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Pentagon announced funding plans for research into anti-radiation treatments shortly following Litvinenko's death.
Steve LeVine, writing for the Wall Street Journal, showcases three biotech firms whose drugs could have the potential of curing polonium-210 radiation:
Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Drug binds heavy isotopes and metals, and moves them from the bone marrow to other less fatal organs, like the kidney. Kidney damage is much less fatal, and more manageable.
Cleveland Biolabs, Inc. (CBLI)
Prevents cells from self-destructing, giving the body more time to replenish itself. One problem is that the drug has been proven to work against gamma rays, not the alpha rays of polonium-210. More studies are needed.
One idea is to combine the drugs, as a cocktail. For example, Chemet would remove the polonium isotopes, Protectan would slow down the cells from dying, and Neumune would produce replacement cells.
- Project BioShield Has Given Biotechs Little Motivation to Protect Americans