Soligenix releases new data from RiVax pre-clinical trials

Soligenix released additional data on Wednesday from pre-clinical trials of its vaccine candidate against ricin toxicity, RiVax.

In nonhuman primate trials, the vaccine was shown to be effective and provided protection against ricin poisoning at a 100 percent rate. Animals that received the vaccination showcased similar antibodies and bio-markers of human samples collected from survivors of contact with ricin.

"These (pieces of) data continue to demonstrate the potential of creating a thermo-stable ricin vaccine with the ability to avoid cold-chain management and protect people against the most lethal routes of ricin exposure," Soligenix President and CEO Christopher Schaber said. "We are developing RiVax using ThermoVax, our proprietary thermo-stabilization system, under a recent (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) contract award of up to $24.7 million over five years."

Ricin toxin is considered a high-level threat due to its lethality and stability. Because it is a by-product of castor-oil production, it is also fairly common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a lethal dose of this poison is approximately the size of a grain of salt. Symptoms of ricin poisoning include tissue necrosis and general organ failure. At the moment, there are no approved preventive vaccines.

The findings were published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.