Soligenix, formerly known as DOR BioPharma, formed a consortium to develop thermostable technology to advance its ricin-toxin vaccine, RiVax™, and other rapid-acting vaccines. Soligenix received a $9.4 million grant from NIAID to support this work.
As part of the initiative, Soligenix will partner with several industry partners and academic institutions. This includes the University of Colorado, with which Soligenix has executed an option agreement that covers technology to develop vaccines that can maintain stability at elevated temperatures. An additional goal will be the development of improved thermostable adjuvants expected to result in rapid-acting vaccines that can be given with fewer injections over shorter intervals.
Other consortium members include the University of Kansas, the Tulane National Primate Research Center, SRI International, Health Research, Battelle Memorial Institute, Nanotherapeutics, and BioCon.
"Each of our academic and industry consortium members brings impressive expertise to our vaccine-stabilization program," said Robert N. Brey, Ph.D., CSO. "This association has the potential to address the practical issue of long-term stability in stockpiled biodefense vaccines, using a technology basis that can ultimately be applied to other commercial vaccine products."
RiVax is for protection against ricin toxin exposure. The vaccine induces a protective immune response in animal models of ricin exposure and is currently being evaluated in humans.
One Phase I trial has been completed, which established that the immunogen was safe and induced antibodies anticipated to protect humans from ricin exposure, according to Soligenix. A second trial is currently being conducted to evaluate a more potent formulation of RiVax.