Soligenix submits proposal for development of thermostable ricin vaccine

Soligenix, Inc., a Princeton, New Jersey-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced on Thursday that it submitted a full contract proposal to the U.S. government on Thursday for the development of a thermostable ricin vaccine.

Soligenix submitted the proposal to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in response to a broad agency announcement related to the development of vaccines against NIAID priority pathogens. The NIAID is interested in supporting the development of vaccines against potentially lethal pathogens and toxins using a dry formulation technology to minimize cold chain storage and preservative requirements and enhance stability.

"We are pleased to submit our proposal to NIAID, who has been the main supporter of our thermostable ricin toxin vaccine development since its inception," Christopher Schaber, the president and CEO of Soligenix, said. "Although there are no guarantees, we believe that the combination of our ricin toxin vaccine, RiVax and our ThermoVax heat stabilization platform technology aligns well with the mission objectives of NIAID. In addition, our organizational structure and experience allows Soligenix to be a valuable strategic partner for NIAID, as well as with the other agencies we currently work with."

The submission of the proposal is non-binding and does not guarantee the award of a contract from NIAID. If successfully awarded, however, the resulting contract could result in a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal to develop RiVax as a candidate vaccine for biodefense threats.

Ricin is classified as a Category B biological agent by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved vaccines or therapeutics that can protect against ricin exposure or reverse its effects.