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NIAID Funds $9.4M for Next-Gen Anthrax Vaccine

Image credit: Todd Parker/CDC
Sterne Bacillus Anthracis - Anthrax Culture
Image credit: Todd Parker/CDC

Biopharmaceutical company Soligenix, through an agreement with Harvard University, will be working towards a next-generation single-dose anthrax vaccine under a $9.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) grant.

Soligenix received an exclusive option agreement with Harvard University to cover prophylactic uses of a modified anthrax protective antigen (PA) developed in the Harvard Medical School laboratory of Dr. John Collier.

The option encompasses an issued U.S. patent that covers engineered variants of PA which is the principal determinant of protective immunity to anthrax. Soligenix believes that it will be able to develop the Collier anthrax vaccine with an efficacy profile superior to other anthrax vaccines and with a more stable shelf-life.

“We believe that the engineered PA variants can be used in platform technologies for delivery of single use or combination biodefense vaccines and will be useful for generating stable vaccines that induce antibodies in fewer doses than the conventional AVA or other rPA vaccines currently under development,” stated Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President and CEO of Soligenix. “Another significant improvement for stockpiled vaccines we intend to focus on would be extended stability relative to conventional vaccines. If long-term stability were achieved, the vaccine would have the potential to be stockpiled for general use and for post-exposure prophylaxis.”

The company further envisions expanding their thermostability technology into development of countermeasures against more common infectious diseases.

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