The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) awarded Soligenix a contract to advance development of a combination of two Soligenix products—its ThermoVax™ thermostabilization technology, and Rivax™, its ricin toxin vaccine—as a medical countermeasure (MCM) to prevent the effects of ricin exposure. The contract is said to be worth up to $24.7 million inclusive of options by the NIH, specifically funded by NIAID.

The contract, according to Soligenix, contains a 16-month base period providing financial support of around $5.8 million followed by several contract options that would extend the award for up to six years. The total award, if all options are exercised, will support the preclinical, manufacturing, and clinical development activities the firm needs to advance heat-stable RiVax toward FDA licensure.

Soligenix has won two other federal contracts recently including one made with BARDA last year to advance preclinical and manufacturing development of OrbeShield™ (oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionatel BDP) as an MCM for the treatment of gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI ARS). In August, NIAID awarded the company additional funding toward OrbeShield development, bringing the total amount of funding for the GI ARS MCM to up to around $32 million.

“With this new contract award, the company now has up to $57 million in NIAID and BARDA funding to advance the biodefense business segment,” Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D., Soligenix' president and CEO, said in a statement. “We thank NIAID for their past and present support and look forward to collaborating closely with them as we advance RiVax development towards potential FDA licensure and procurement for the national stockpile.”