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Soligenix Announces Publication of Positive Pre-Clinical Results with RiVax(TM), Its Vaccine Against Ricin Toxin
Date:12/28/2009

y was sufficient to protect the animals against both systemic (i.e., intraperitoneal) and mucosal (i.e., intragastric) ricin challenge. These results advance the concept that antibodies present in the circulation at the time of toxin exposure not only protect animals against death, but may also prevent the toxin's effects on mucosal tissues. This is an important finding, as ricin is toxic to humans following ingestion and inhalation. The study is also significant because it raises the possibility of using specific linear determinants on the ricin A chain as markers for protective immune responses in humans. Immunological readouts, such as the ability of serum antibodies to react with specific neutralizing epitopes on the ricin A chain, along with other markers that are currently in use to investigate human immune responses, will be essential in fully evaluating the efficacy of candidate ricin vaccines such as RiVax(TM), in the absence of the ability to perform vaccine efficacy trials in humans.

"These data are important in terms of ricin vaccine development, since they firmly establish that pre-existing serum antibodies directed against linear determinants on the ricin A chain are sufficient to confer both systemic and mucosal immunity to ricin," stated Nicholas Mantis, Ph.D., Research Scientist IV, Wadsworth Center, and lead author of the study.

"Vaccination by injection primarily induces antibodies in the circulation, and in the case of RiVax((TM)), these fundamental results further indicate that intramuscular vaccination will be expected to protect humans against ingestion of toxin or aerosolized toxin exposure," said Robert N. Brey, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Soligenix, and a co-author of the study. "The publication of these results is exciting as they lead the way to the potential development of new applications utilizing a key target of neutralizing antibodies in vivo."

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