Galveston firm gets $10 million to study radiation antidote

By MYER LEE The Daily News 

Dec 13, 2020 

Darrell Carney’s company, Chrysalis BioTheraputics, received $10.4 million to continue developing TP508, a drug that remedies the effects of radiation exposure. 

JENNIFER REYNOLDS/The Daily News

Chrysalis BioTherapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company based in Galveston, is positioned to revolutionize lives worldwide. 

Chrysalis recently received $10.4 million from the federal BioMedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to continue developing TP508, a drug that remedies the effects of radiation exposure. The drug could serve as a countermeasure to people exposed to radiation through medical treatment, nuclear accidents or any other way.  

Cancer patients that receive radiation therapy could benefit from TP508, physicians said. Radiation oncologist Richard Garza of Austin Urology said radiation therapy is often used to help cure patients of cancer and take care of pain symptoms. But it has disadvantages.  

“Normal tissue that is between radiation and the tumor can get irritated and damaged during radiation therapy” Garza said. A drug like TP508, could be helpful he said.  

A main function of TP508 is to repair damages to body tissues, especially arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the body and bring oxygen and nutrients to all tissues, Darrell Carney, president and CEO of Chrysalis, said.  

Galveston firm gets $10 million to study radiation antidote | Local News | The Daily News 12/13/20, 3(30 PM 

TP508 protects and stimulates the recovery of endothelial cells that line the walls of arteries and veins to promote tissue growth and repair, Carney said.  

“If we can prevent vascular damage and restore vascular function, we can protect the tissues in the body,” he said.  

TP508 mitigates tissue damage, Carney said. 

Pre-clinical studies have shown that TP508 reduces the harmful effects of radiation therapy in the brain and mitigates effects of whole-body radiation such as that which could be experienced by people in the event of a nuclear accident or intentional detonation, Carney said.  

TP508 might have the potential to increase survival and reduce the delayed effects of radiation exposure for civilians as well as military personnel and first responders who must enter highly-radioactive areas.  

The success of TP508 and Chrysalis could also encourage other spinoff companies like Chrysalis, which branched from the University of Texas Medical Branch, to grow, Carney said. 

Other benefits include creating a biotech hub in Galveston and boosting the local economy.  

Myer Lee: (409) 683-5247; myer.lee@galvnews.com and on Twitter @thesquarescriv

Myer Lee 

Reporter 

Myer joined The Daily News in later 2020 after previously working at our sister newspaper the Del Rio

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