Soligenix advances development of anthrax vaccine

Soligenix, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced the results on Thursday of a new study that showed improved immunogenicity and rapid action of VeloThrax, the company's anthrax vaccine.

VeloThrax, Soligenix's proprietary domain negative inhibitor (DNI) anthrax recombinant protective antigen (rPA) subunit protein vaccine, previously demonstrated enhanced thermostability to allow for distribution without cold chain requirements. Recent developments in the vaccine's formulation resulted in protective immune response after no more than two administrations of the vaccines in a vaccination regimen of less than one month in an animal model.

Soligenix said the results indicate a vaccine that can be given to individuals in an abbreviated regimen, as opposed to the current vaccination regimen of five administrations during an 18 month period.

"We are very pleased that our enhanced anthrax vaccine, VeloThrax, has demonstrated promising results indicative of rapid onset of protective immunity," Christopher Schaber, the president and CEO of Soligenix, said. "These data demonstrate the potential of creating a rapidly acting anthrax vaccine with the ability to withstand temperature extremes thereby avoiding the need for cold chain management. We believe that stability at such elevated temperatures provides a distinct advantage over other anthrax vaccine technologies currently in development."

Soligenix said enhanced VeloThrax was stable at 104 degrees Fahrenheit for at least three months, which indicates that the synthetic adjuvant and DNI antigen components of the vaccines were both stabilized.

"DNI rPA is highly immunogenic and offers the potential for complete immunization with just one or two doses," Schaber said. "We expect to continue to advance VeloThrax development with the support of government grants and contracts. As with all our biodefense programs, our goal is to position VeloThrax as a next generation anthrax vaccine for stockpiling by the U.S. government."

Soligenix seeks to develop biodefense vaccines and therapeutics, as well as products that treat serious inflammatory diseases.