The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the development of an investigational drug, AB103, to treat a condition called cytokine storm.

Cytokine storm is a potentially fatal complication of severe infections that occurs when infected cells overreact and create a surge of cytokines. This can result in tissue and organ damage, and cause a severe systemic inflammatory response that can lead to death.

AB103 works by modulating the body’s cytokine response without repressing the normal immune response, and could be used to reduce excessive inflammation. AB103 should not be susceptible to the development of drug resistance due to its mechanism in targeting the host’s immune system rather than attacking bacteria directly.

RELATED: Orbactiv Gets FDA Nod to Treat Severe Skin Infections

Development of AB103 will be supported by a 1.5 year, $4.4 million contract with the biotech company Atox Bio. Atox Bio plans to prepare and conduct clinical trials to demonstrate the drug’s efficacy in improving outcomes in patients with severe skin or soft tissue infections (eg, Streptococcus pyogenes).

For more information visit