Research continues on therapeutics against anthrax and other biowarfare agents.

Elusys Therapeutics extended its Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Under the agreement, both parties will continue to perform collaborative research to develop therapeutics against anthrax and other unspecified biowarfare agents, using Elusys’ HP Antibody™ technology.

“Elusys’ work in biodefense began in 2000 with the initial USAMRIID collaboration, and our anthrax therapeutic, Anthim, evolved from that early research,” remarks George Elston, vp of finance and government affairs. “Elusys has since advanced Anthim into the final stages of clinical development, and today, this important countermeasure is well-positioned for stockpiling by the U.S. Government under Project BioShield.”

Elusys has also received funding from the DoD and the NIH, with a total of $20 million from the U.S. government. “We are encouraged that Congress has passed S. 3678, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act,” says Elston. “This legislation will help important countermeasures, such as Anthim, complete the expensive advanced development process necessary for purchase by the U.S. Government.”

Anthim was granted fast-track status and orphan drug designation. A high-affinity Mab targeting the anthrax toxin protective antigen, it is being developed for prophylaxis and postexposure treatment of inhalation anthrax. Anthim’s low effective dose allows for rapid intramuscular delivery.

Heteropolymer (HP) antibodies represent a new approach for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections, distinct from traditional antibody therapy. By targeting the CR1 immune receptor, HP antibodies enhance a natural clearance mechanism and direct the rapid removal of pathogens from the circulation through tissue macrophages.

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