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Soligenix Announces Completion of Patient Enrollment in Phase 2 Acute GVHD Prevention Clinical Trial

PRINCETON, N.J., May 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Soligenix, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: SNGX) (Soligenix or the Company), a late-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that patient enrollment has been completed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial of orBec® for the prevention of acute Graft-versus-Host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) with myeloablative conditioning regimens.  The study is being conducted by Paul Martin, MD at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA and is supported, in large part, by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant.

The Phase 2 trial enrolled 140 patients who have been randomized to either orBec® or placebo at a 2:1 ratio. The primary endpoint of this trial is the proportion of subjects who develop acute GVHD with severity sufficient to require systemic immunosuppressive treatment on or before day 90 after transplantation.  Subjects in the orBec® group began study drug at the start of their conditioning regimen and continued through day 75 following HCT.  Results from the Phase 2 study are expected in the second half of 2010.

"We are pleased to announce the important milestone of enrollment completion in this study aimed at preventing the potential morbidity associated with acute GVHD which is an unmet medical need," said Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Soligenix. "We appreciate the efforts of the clinicians involved with the study led by Dr. Martin at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, as well as the participation from the patients. We are looking forward with great anticipation to announcing the results of this study."

About GVHD

GVHD is a debilitating and painful disease.  It is a common disorder among immunocompromised cancer patients after receiving allogeneic stem cell or bone marrow transplants.  Unlike organ transplants where the patient's body may reject the organ, in GVHD it is the donor cells that begin to attack the patient's body – most frequently the gut, liver and skin.  Patients with mild-to-moderate GI GVHD typically develop symptoms of anorexia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  If left untreated, GI GVHD can progress to ulcerations in the lining of the GI tract, and in its most severe form, can be fatal.

Systemic immunosuppressive agents such as prednisone, which are the current standard treatments for GVHD, are associated with high mortality rates due to infection and debility.  Further, these drugs have not been approved for treating GVHD in the U.S. or European Union, but rather are used off-label for this indication.

About orBec®

orBec®, oral beclomethasone dipropionate (oral BDP), represents a first-of-its-kind oral, locally acting therapy tailored to treat the gastrointestinal manifestation of GVHD, the organ system where GVHD is most frequently encountered and highly problematic.  orBec® is intended to reduce the need for systemic immunosuppressive drugs to treat GI GVHD.  orBec® is formulated for oral administration in GVHD patients as a single product consisting of two tablets; one tablet is intended to release BDP in the proximal portions of the GI tract, and the other tablet is intended to release BDP in the distal portions of the GI tract.  Oral BDP may also have application in treating other gastrointestinal disorders characterized by severe inflammation.  

About Soligenix, Inc.

Soligenix, Inc. (Soligenix) is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products to treat life-threatening side effects of cancer treatments and serious gastrointestinal diseases, and vaccines for certain bioterrorism agents. Soligenix's lead product, orBec® (oral beclomethasone dipropionate or BDP), is a potent, locally acting corticosteroid being developed for the treatment of acute gastrointestinal Graft-versus-Host-Disease (GI GVHD), a common and potentially life-threatening complication of hematopoietic cell transplantation. orBec® is currently the subject of a confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of acute GI GVHD and an NIH-supported, Phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in the prevention of acute GVHD. Both of these trials are actively enrolling patients. Soligenix has also recently initiated an NIH-supported Phase 1/2 clinical trial of SGX201 in the prevention of acute radiation enteritis. Additionally, Soligenix has a Lipid Polymer Micelle (LPM™) drug delivery technology for the oral delivery of leuprolide for the treatment of prostate cancer and endometriosis.

Through its Biodefense Division, Soligenix is developing biomedical countermeasures pursuant to the Project BioShield Act of 2004. Soligenix's lead biodefense product in development is a recombinant subunit vaccine called RiVax™, which is designed to protect against the lethal effects of exposure to ricin toxin. RiVax™ has been shown to be well tolerated and immunogenic in a Phase 1 clinical trial in normal volunteers. RiVax™ is also the subject of a recent $9.4 million NIH grant received by the Company supporting development of new heat stable vaccines.

For further information regarding Soligenix, Inc., please visit the Company's website at

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect Soligenix, Inc.'s current expectations about its future results, performance, prospects and opportunities. Statements that are not historical facts, such as "anticipates," "believes," "intends," or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results in future periods to differ materially from what is expressed in, or implied by, these statements. Soligenix cannot assure you that it will be able to successfully develop or commercialize products based on its technology, including orBec®, SGX201, RiVax™, and LPM™, particularly in light of the significant uncertainty inherent in developing vaccines against bioterror threats, manufacturing and conducting preclinical and clinical trials of vaccines, and obtaining regulatory approvals, that its cash expenditures will not exceed projected levels, that product development and commercialization efforts will not be reduced or discontinued due to difficulties or delays in clinical trials or due to lack of progress or positive results from research and development efforts, that it will be able to successfully obtain any further grants and awards, maintain its existing grants which are subject to performance, enter into any biodefense procurement contracts with the US Government or other countries, that the US Congress may not pass any legislation that would provide additional funding for the Project BioShield program, that it will be able to patent, register or protect its technology from challenge and products from competition or maintain or expand its license agreements with its current licensors, or that its business strategy will be successful. Important factors which may affect the future use of orBec® for gastrointestinal GVHD include the risks that: the FDA's requirement that Soligenix conduct additional clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of orBec® will take a significant amount of time and money to complete and positive results leading to regulatory approval cannot be assumed; Soligenix is dependent on the expertise, effort, priorities and contractual obligations of third parties in the clinical trials, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of its products; orBec® may not gain market acceptance if it is eventually approved by the FDA; and others may develop technologies or products superior to orBec®. Factors affecting the development and use of SGX201 and LPM™ are similar to those affecting orBec®. These and other factors are described from time to time in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, Soligenix's reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K. Unless required by law, Soligenix assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events.

SOURCE Soligenix, Inc.
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