Soligenix Wins $600K SBIR Grant to Develop Radiation Sickness Drug
Soligenix won a two-year, $600,000 SBIR grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to support additional large animal trials with its OrbeShield™ (oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionatel BDP) treatment for gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI ARS). OrbeShield is in development as a potential post-exposure treatment to prevent the lethal gastrointestinal injury that occurs after exposure to high-dose radiation.
NIAID funding has already been used to complete an initial trial with OrbeShield in dogs at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. This study was carried out by George E. Georges, M.D. “We are encouraged with the promising survival results observed to date with OrbeShield in the beagle model as a post-exposure therapy for the treatment of GI ARS,” comments Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D., president and CEO at Soligenix. “With renewed support from NIAID we look forward to working with Dr. Georges to continue development of OrbeShield.”
Soligenix is developing products to treat life-threatening side effects of cancer treatments and serious gastrointestional diseases, and vaccines for certain bioterrorism agents. The firm’s biodefense pipeline is supported by a $9.4 million grant award from NIAID to fund the development, formulation, and manufacture of biodefense vaccines, including its temperature-stable RiVaxTM (ricin toxin), and VeloThrax™ (anthrax) vaccines. The grant is also supporting the development of thermostable vaccine adjuvants.
Soligenix is separately carrying out clinical development of oral formulations of BDP for the treatment of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with chronic graft-versus-host disease, and for treating pediatric Crohn disease. A small Phase I/II study evaluating BDP as a treatment for enteritis caused by cancer radiation therapy has also been completed.