Consortium formed to create thermostable ricin vaccine

Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biotechnology company, has announced that is has formed a consortium to aid in developing thermostable technology to advance RiVax and other rapidly acting vaccines.

RiVax, a proprietary vaccine to protect against exposure to riccin, induces a protective immune response in animal models of ricing exposure and is currently in the human evaluation stage. One human Phase 1 clinical trial has already been completed with a second human trial currently being conducted.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health, has given Soloigenix a $9.4 million grant to support Soligenix's work.

As part of the consortium, Soligenix has formed collaborative partnerships with academic institutions - the University of Colorado, the University of Kansas and the Tulane National Primate Research Center - and industry - SRI International, Health Research, Inc., Battelle Memorial Institute, Nanotherapeutics, and BioCon, Inc.

Soligenix has also executed an option agreement with the University of Colorado to develop vaccines that can maintain stability at elevated temperatures with an additional goal of developing improved thermostable adjuvants that will help in creating rapid acting vaccines that can be given with fewer injecctions over shorter intervals.

Dr. Robert N. Brey, chief scientific officer of Soligenix, noted that the consortium has the potential to create a long-term stability in stockpiled biodefense vaccines and create a technology that can be applied to other commercial vaccine products.

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