Soligenix (OTCBB:SNGX) said Wednesday that it has inked a collaboration agreement with the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) of Seattle, Washington, to develop biodefense vaccines.
The deal will see the two companies partner to develop vaccines using IDRI's synthetic adjuvants, together with Soligenix's proprietary subunit proteins and thermostabilization platform known as ThermoVax.
company's technology allows vaccines that usually need to be
refrigerated to maintain their efficacy at higher temperatures.
In April, Soligenix
said that its RiVax vaccine, when combined with its ThermoVax
technology, retained its potency and effectiveness when stored at 40
degrees Celsius for longer than three months.
adjuvants provided by IDRI are immunologically active compounds that are
added to vaccines to aid in inducing enhanced protective immune
said that the combination of the adjuvants with ThermoVax can result in
vaccines with "robust characteristics for long-term stability and rapid
onset of protective immunity."
These are both desired features for vaccines that would be stockpiled for emergency use.
first part of the collaboration will see the partners assess the
combination of one of IDRI's adjuvant compounds that has been shown to
enhance immune responses to the anthrax toxin, with Soligenix's subunit protein anthrax vaccine candidate VeloThrax.
VeloThrax is Soligenix's
hyperimmunogenic derivative of anthrax rPA, or recombinant protective
antigen, a candidate vaccine designed to protect against anthrax
The second objective of the collaboration will be to assess the combination of another IDRI adjuvant with formulations of Soligenix's RiVax vaccine, under development for protection against the ricin toxin.
aim for both vaccines is to achieve stable products, the parties said,
that will promote the rapid onset of protective immunity to minimize the
number of vaccinations required.
"We believe that with the
addition of IDRI's potent adjuvants to our hyperimmunogenic anthrax and
ricin toxin vaccines, we will have the potential to develop highly
competitive biodefense vaccines that can address the exact needs of the
US government with regard to rapid onset immunity with just one or two
doses," said president and CEO of Soligenix, Dr. Christopher J. Schaber.
with any biodefense program, our goal is to have VeloThrax and RiVax
stockpiled by the US government in its strategic national stockpile."
The initial work under the agreement is to be carried out under Soligenix's
existing $9.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Disease (NIAID) grant, supporting the development of advanced heat
stable vaccines against anthrax and ricin toxins.
"IDRI is enthusiastic about working with Soligenix
to support their efforts in developing their anthrax and ricin vaccine
candidates, and are highly confident that IDRI's adjuvant technology can
help build effective vaccines," said IDRI's vice president of adjuvant
technology, Darrick Carter PhD.
"These new candidate vaccines
could be the critical solution in providing protection to people in the
event there is a bioterror threat from the release of anthrax or ricin
In addition to biodefense application, Soligenix
noted that a recent report by the Department of Health and Human
Services showed the need for thermostable vaccines to eliminate the need
for cold chain manufacturing and storage.
Excursions from cold chain temperatures lead to the inactivation of vaccines, thereby putting recipients of vaccines at risk.
IDRI and Soligenix are together pursuing additional government development funding to further support this work, they said.
is a Seattle-based not-for-profit organization focused on the research
and development of products to prevent, detect, and treat infectious
diseases of poverty.
is a biopharmaceutical company developing products to treat
life-threatening side effects of cancer treatments and gastrointestinal
diseases, as well as vaccines for certain bioterrorism agents. Its lead
product, orBec, is a corticosteroid that has been initially developed
for the treatment of acute gastrointestinal Graft-versus-Host disease, a
complication of hematopoietic cell transplantation.