The Brillance of Ingenuity

CFDRC awarded JPEO-CBD contract to develop countermeasures for Aflatoxin B1 threats


Huntsville, Ala. | December 6, 2016 – CFD Research Corporation has been awarded a $1M contract from the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) to develop countermeasures for Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) mycotoxin threats.

“Aflatoxins B1 (AFB1) are fungal produced mycotoxins that are present in food supplies and are strongly associated with increased risk for the development of liver cancer,” said Dr. Narender Singh, CFDRC senior research scientist and principal investigator. “Currently, there are no known countermeasures to selectively mitigate AFB1 toxicity.”

To meet this challenge, in previous work, CFDRC successfully validated a proof-of-concept study to harness the microbiome extracts of scavenging mammals for bioactive natural products as potential AFB1 countermeasures. CFDRC coupled the selected extracts with transcriptome analysis to identify potential drug targets and pathways that play important role in AFB1 toxicity. This information was used for in vitro screening of approved drugs to discover their repurposed role as AFB1 countermeasures. For this work, CFDRC collaborated with Dr. Robert CIchewicz from the Univ. of Oklahoma who maintains one of the biggest and most diverse natural product libraries in US. This library was screened to find novel Aflatoxin inhibitors. The transcriptomics analysis of found natural products was performed in collaboration with Genomic services lab at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology (HAIB). In this study, Dr. David Eaton, Dean of Graduate School at Univ. of Washington, Seattle served as project consultant.

In this follow-on work, CFDRC will expand the framework to purify and test the efficacy of compounds from identified bioactive extracts, as well as test these compounds and repurposed drugs in in vivo animal models in collaboration with Dr. David Rudnick (Wash U, St. Louis).

The final outcome of this project will provide in vivo validated efficacious natural products, and a platform to repurpose known drugs for providing rapid transition from bench to bedside for AFB1 countermeasures.

“This project is one of CFDRC’s first forays into drug discovery involving in vitro and in vivo screening of small molecules and represents a compelling opportunity to prevent the threat associated with AFB1 induced toxicity that will benefit both public and military health,” said Dr. Andrzej Przekwas, CFDRC senior vice president and CTO.

About CFD Research Corporation: Since its inception in 1987, CFDRC has worked with government agencies, businesses and academia to provide innovative solutions within the Aerospace & Defense, Biomedical & Life Sciences, and Energy & Materials industries. Over the years CFDRC has earned multiple national awards for successful application and commercialization of innovative component/system technology prototypes, multi-physics simulation software and multi-disciplinary analyses. Learn more at

Richard Thoms
Manger, Technology Partnerships // 256.726.4810

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