The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has extended a $6.8 million contract with San Diego-based Aethlon Medical Inc.

DARPA is exercising an option to continue with year three of the contract, which was awarded to Aethlon in 2011 to develop blood filtration devices for infectious disease and cancer.

Aethlon to date has used about $3.2 million of the contract in its first two years, and can access an additional $1.5 million this coming year.

Aethlon is developing a portable device that removes “dirty” blood from the body, separates harmful agents, and returns “clean” blood to the body in a manner similar to dialysis treatment of kidney failure, the company said. The goal is to decrease the morbidity and mortality of sepsis, thereby saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars in the United States annually, Aethlon said.

— SDBJ Staff Report