The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded Soligenix a one-year $300,000 SBIR grant to support further preclinical development of SGX943 as a treatment for melioidosis, an infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, a gram-negative bacterium that is highly resistant to antibiotic treatments. Soligenix will be conducting the studies with help from Tulane University.

SGX943, which was developed as part of a collaboration Soligenix made with Intrexon last May, has, according to Soligenix, been shown to be effective in preclinical trials against gram-positive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as well as against gram-negative pathogens. SGX943 is an innate defense regulator that can stimulate the immune system to combat infection while suppressing inflammation at the same time. The firm believes SGX943 has the potential to work well as an adjunctive treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections including melioidosis.

“Melioidosis remains a significant biothreat as well as a major life-threatening endemic disease in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia,” Soligenix’ president and CEO Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D., said in a statement. “With this support from NIAID, we look forward to continuing development of SGX943 in melioidosis.”

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