Soligenix, a company developing vaccines for inflammatory diseases and biodefense, has released results demonstrating improved immunogenicity for VeloThrax™, the company’s anthrax vaccine.
VeloThrax™ is a proprietary recombinant Protective Antigen (rPA) vaccine of Soligenix. It had been believed that VeloThrax™’s improved immunogenicity could result in a vaccine with the potential to be administered in fewer doses. Recent results prove that this is in fact the case.
Next generation anthrax vaccines had aimed for fewer vaccinations over a shorter period of time for both pre and post exposure use. While the current vaccination requires as many as five administrations over an 18 month period, recent developments with VeloThrax™ show that it’s capable of producing the necessary immune response with only two doses in less than a month’s time.
The enhanced vaccine was developed by stimulating receptor 4 (TLR-4) which plays an important role in the recognition of pathogens. The stimulation of these receptors resulted in a boost to toxin neutralizing antibodies and triggered an elevation in immune responses in mice after just one immunization.
The improved vaccine also proved to be stable at 40 degrees Celsius for up to three months as well as up to 70 degrees Celsius for one month. This alleviates some of the burden in storing the vaccine.
“We are very pleased that our enhanced anthrax vaccine, VeloThrax™, has demonstrated promising results indicative of rapid onset of protective immunity," explained Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President & CEO of Soligenix. "These data demonstrate the potential of creating a rapidly acting anthrax vaccine with the ability to withstand temperature extremes thereby avoiding the need for cold chain management. We believe that stability at such elevated temperatures provides a distinct advantage over other anthrax vaccine technologies currently in development. Further, DNI rPA is highly immunogenic and offers the potential for complete immunization with just one or two doses.”
Schaber says he expects his company to continue to develop the vaccine. The ultimate goal? A position as an anthrax vaccine for “stockpiling by the US government”.
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