Anthrax vaccine program publishes test results

PharmAthene announced on Monday that data from its anthrax vaccine program was published in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology's November issue.

The article, "Increasing the Potency of an Alhydrogel-Formulated Anthrax Vaccine by Minimizing Antigen-Adjuvant Interactions," discusses the company's SparVax recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccine program, and the work of the program's scientists in achieving stability and enhanced potency in the vaccine.

The vaccine program worked in collaboration with many institutions, including the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

The collected analytical data shows the interaction between rPA and an immune-stimulating adjuvant has subtle changes, such as improvements in the substance's ability to provoke an immune response and enhanced survival in mice in anthrax vaccine potency tests.

"There is a compelling need for next-generation anthrax vaccines, based on modern vaccine technologies, that offer the potential for improved safety, convenience and cost-effectiveness for the U.S. government and its citizens," Dr. Peter Fusco, the vice president of immunobiology and assay development for PharmAthene, said. "Subunit vaccines, like SparVax, which consist of a purified recombinant antigen and an immune-stimulating adjuvant (Alhydrogel), are being evaluated for their potential to provide a safer and more consistent alternative to partially-purified microbial cell filtrates or extracts. We are very encouraged by the additional data that has been generated, which furthers our understanding of the characteristics that differentiate SparVax from other anthrax vaccines."

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health and BARDA provide funding to the anthrax vaccine program.

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