Elusys receives $14.5 million in additional funding for anthrax safety study

Elusys Therapeutics, Inc., a Pine Brook, New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company, announced an award on Thursday of $14.5 million of additional funding to support human safety studies of an investigational agent for anthrax treatment.

ETI-204, also known as Anthim, is a humanized, high-affinity, deimmunized monoclonal antibody that targets the protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis and may neutralize its lethal effects. The antibody could be used in the treatment of anthrax infection after a biowarfare attack.

Elusys has received $149 million under two advanced development contracts with the U.S. government from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The contracts are worth a potential total value of $211 million.

"As we continue to reach milestones in the late stages of our development program, we are pleased to have the ongoing support of the U.S. government to evaluate not only IV administration but also the more rapid, cost-effective IM administration of ETI-204," Elizabeth Posillico, the president and CEO of Elusys, said. "Advancing the development of both IV and IM administration of our anti-toxin could provide two important options in the prevention and treatment of inhalational anthrax following a biowarfare attack."

The $14.5 million in additional funding will be used for final, expanded safety studies for intravenous administration of the anti-toxin and a dose escalation study for intramuscular administration of ETA-204.