PharmAthene presents data on SparVax anthrax vaccine

PharmAthene, a biodefense company, announced on Tuesday that it recently presented data from its SparVax next-generation anthrax vaccine program at the 8th annual New Technologies, New Vaccines conference in Wilmington, Delaware.

Bradford Powell, the director of analytical sciences at PharmAthene, presented the data during a presentation called "Factors that Affect Potency and Stability for a Recombinant Protective Antigen Vaccine." He discussed PharmAthene's achievements in developing analytical assays to monitor the potency and stability of SparVax.

"We believe SparVax is a promising alternative to the current anthrax vaccine and other (recombinant protective antigen)-based vaccines due, in part, to its unique formulation," Powell said. "This formulation, and our development of newer, more precise assays have facilitated the development and testing of a vaccine product with enhanced stability and potency. Further, our research has demonstrated that subtle changes in the interaction between rPA and an immune-stimulating adjuvant (Alhydrogel) yield important improvements in stability and immunogenicity."

Powell presented data showing how the addition of phosphate changes the surface chemistry of Alhydrogel to improve the potency of rPA, compared to vaccine formulations with less phosphate. The phosphate and Alhydrogel formulation also demonstrated five-fold higher potency when compared to a low phosphate formulation.

PharmAthene said newer anthrax vaccines based on modern technology can offer improved safety, convenience and cost-effectiveness. SparVax is based on rPA, the principal virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, and is being developed for pre- and post-exposure protection against anthrax.

PharmAthene's rPA anthrax program received support from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.