Melioidosis treatment mechanism shows promise

Soligenix presented preliminary data on Tuesday from trials of its potential treatment for melioidosis at the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research meeting.

The treatment, SGC943, acts as a strengthening mechanism for the host's immune system, rather than attacking the infectious agent itself. In mice, the compound was shown to be affective against a lethal strain of pneumonic melioidosis compared with subjects that received antibiotics alone.

This treatment falls under the company's line of innate defense regulator technology (IDR) and makes the immune system of those who take the medicine more potent against infectious agents. The company said this method has been shown to be effective against bacteria that have developed resistance to most antibiotics on the market.

Melioidosis is considered to be among the top five priorities listed in the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise Strategy and is a Tier 1 bio-threat, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies the bacteria as a category B bioterrorism agent. Symptoms include cough and other respiratory distress, chest pain, high fevers and drastic weight loss.

The company was awarded a grant a year ago from the NIAID  to develop a potential treatment .