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PharmAthene Develops Thermostable Lyophilized rPA Anthrax Vaccine Under a Challenge Grant From the National Institutes of Health
Date:7/8/2010

ous disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in hoofed mammals and can also infect humans. Symptoms of disease vary depending on how the disease is contracted, but usually occur within seven days after exposure. The serious forms of human anthrax are inhalation anthrax, cutaneous anthrax, and gastrointestinal anthrax. Initial symptoms of inhalation anthrax infection may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock. Inhalation anthrax is often fatal, even if treated by antibiotics.  Currently, antibiotics are the only drugs available for therapeutic or prophylactic use for inhalation anthrax, and post-exposure prophylaxis is the only FDA-approved indication for such products.  However, antibiotic therapy, while useful, is believed to be associated with a number of limitations, including: (1) lack of activity against the toxins produced by the B. anthracis bacteria, (2) need for long-term dosing to achieve full protection, complicated by side effects and non-compliance, (3) lack of efficacy when administered late in the anthrax disease cycle, and (4) lack of effectiveness against multi-drug resistant or genetically engineered strains of anthrax.

About PharmAthene, Inc.

PharmAthene was formed to meet the critical needs of the United States and its allies by developing and commercializing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical weapons. PharmAthene's lead product development programs include:

  • SparVax™ -- a second generation recombinant protective antigen (rPA) anthrax vaccine
  • Third generation rPA anthrax vaccine
  • Valortim®-- a fully human monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment of anthrax infection

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SOURCE PharmAthene, Inc.
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