GS-1 shows potential as a military biowarfare decontaminant

Collaboration with Defence Science and Technology Group, Australia could be the start of a commercial venture for this antimicrobial biotech company.

Wintermute Biomedical
February 10, 2023

Since 2019, Wintermute Biomedical has been collaborating with the Australian Defense Science and Technology Group (DSTG) in Melbourne to test various antimicrobial formulations against common biowarfare pathogens, including B. anthracis (anthrax), Y. pestis (plague), B. pseudomallei (melioidosis), and F. tularensis (tularemia). Although COVID-19 interrupted the research in 2020, promising results were achieved by mid-2022, particularly for GS-1.

DSTG has been searching for a broad-spectrum and safe antimicrobial to use as a skin decontaminant against biowarfare agents, as current practices for decontamination after exposure to high-risk pathogens involve only soap and water. Fast-acting, broad-spectrum, and safe antimicrobial agents are necessary to be feasible candidates as skin decontaminants. GS-1, which is already FDA-registered, and has been found to have potent and broad activity against the most harmful pathogens, making it an ideal candidate.

GS-1's activity is now being validated at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Other defense departments are also interested in collaborating to investigate additional applications of the formulation, such as wound healing and infection prevention for wounded soldiers.

In a military setting, wounded soldiers are at greater risk of dying from infections that arise within their wounds than from the wounds themselves. An effective antimicrobial that prevented infections from developing would change that.

Wintermute Biomedical is currently in discussions with other US military research groups to evaluate the activity of GS-1 as a wound-healing agent later in 2023. 

Wintermute conducted earlier studies on rats with infected wounds, which indicated that GS-1 effectively eliminates local infections. These findings are promising for the potential use of GS-1 as a protectant against wound infections.

The additional testing will provide insights not only into the applicability of GS-1 in military contexts but also its potential as an intervention for preventing infections that can aid in the recovery process following injuries or surgical procedures.

Wintermute Biomedical continues to work on developing innovative treatments for infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases and antimicrobial-resistant infections.