Soligenix, Emergent BioSolutions enter development agreement

Soligenix, Inc. has entered a development agreement with Emergent BioSolutions in order to develop commercially viable production technology for RiVax, a ricin toxin vaccine candidate, Soligenix announced on Wednesday.
Under this agreement Soligenix will transfer manufacturing processes and analytical data to Emergent in order to solidify commercial manufacturing operation collaboration.
"We are pleased to initiate an agreement with Emergent BioSolutions as we expand our efforts to develop an effective, first-in-class vaccine against ricin toxin exposure in combination with our thermostabilization technology," stated Christopher J. Schaber, President and CEO of Soligenix. "Collaborating with NIAID and Emergent is an important step in advancing the development of our ThermoVax technology platform. Soligenix intends to use this innovative technology to develop a heat stable ricin toxin vaccine that meets U.S. Government requirements and advances a vaccine thermostabilization platform that may apply to other vaccines."
In pre-clinical trials the candidate was shown to be effective in animal models. In early clinical trials volunteers showed signs of antibody development, and RiVax was not shown to be harmful. Ricin is a powerful toxin that is deemed to be a threat to biological security as it has a large reservoir and is stable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that a lethal ricin dose in humans is roughly the size of a grain of salt. Symptoms include local tissue necrosis and overall failure of the organs.