Third study initiated for anthrax antitoxin

Elusys Therapeutics, Inc., recently announced that it is initiating a third clinical study to test the safety of Anthim, its anthrax antitoxin currently in late-stage development.

Elusys, a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development of antibody therapeutics, also announced that it has been able to successfully develop Anthim on a commercial scale, according to

Anthim has proven to successfully increase the survival rate of anthrax-infected animals and is believed to be a promising new tool that could be used to treat anthrax in those infected during a biological attack.

The new clinical study will test Anthim on 108 healthy human subjects in a double blind, placebo-controlled dose escalating environment in order to collect final safety and pharmakinetic data.

"Our development timeline for Anthim is right on track, and this additional safety and PK data will further prove Anthim's utility as a strong candidate for addition to the Strategic National Stockpile," Dr. Elizabeth Posillico, the president and chief executive officer of Elusys, said. "Anthim is demonstrating the potential to deliver significant therapeutic benefit to Americans infected with anthrax in a bioterrorism emergency."

If Elusys completes its Anthim development program to the satisfaction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it will be available for purchase by the federal government for inclusion in the Strategic National Stockpile under Project BioShield.

Project BioShield was created in 2004 to, in part, provide funding for the purchase of medical countermeasures to protect Americans in case of a biowarfare attack.

Elusys could potentially receive up to $143 million for a base plus four year contract for the development of Anthim for the treatment of anthrax symptomatic patients, according to a contract awarded by the U.S. government in December 2009.

In September, the company received a base plus three year option contract for $68.9 million to develop a pre- and post- prophylaxis anthrax antitoxin that can be administered intramuscularly.