Implicit Bioscience announced Monday that the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency has awarded the pharmaceutical research and manufacturing firm with a $16.34 million contract to further develop a promising immunomodulatory drug. Implicit said the compound, known as oglufanide disodium, is in its clinical stage and, once developed, could be used as a broad-spectrum treatment for a number of intracellularbacterial diseases, including melioidosis, a form of bacterial pneumonia native to Southeast Asia and commonly found in Australia's Northern Territory. Implicit said the U.S. government believes the microorganism responsible for the disease is a national security threat because it could be weaponized into a biological agent. Implicit said it will use the funds to manage teams of researchers and clinicians in Brisbane, Australia, and to subcontract academic, commercial and military groups in Canada and the United States. Headquartered in Brisbane, Implicit Bioscience also maintains research and development programs in Seattle, where its U.S. operations are based.