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Soligenix Submits NIAID Contract Proposal for Development of a Thermostable Ricin Vaccine
Date:10/31/2013

formulations using adjuvants, protein immunogens, and other components that ordinarily would not withstand long temperature variations exceeding customary refrigerated storage conditions. These studies were conducted with our aluminum-adjuvanted ricin toxin vaccine, RiVax™, made under precise lyophilization conditions using excipients that aid in maintaining native protein structure of the ricin A chain, the immunogenic compound of the vaccine. When RiVax™ was kept at 40 degrees Celsius for six months, all of the animals vaccinated with the lyophilized RiVax™ vaccine developed potent and high titer neutralizing antibodies. Confirmatory results have extended the stability to six months when the vaccine is kept at 40 degrees Celsius. In contrast, animals that were vaccinated with the liquid RiVax™ vaccine kept at 40 degrees Celsius did not develop neutralizing antibodies and were not protected against ricin exposure. The ricin A chain is extremely sensitive to temperature and rapidly loses the ability to induce neutralizing antibodies when exposed to temperatures higher than 8 degrees Celsius.

The underlying lyophilization technology was discovered by Drs. John Carpenter and Theodore Randolph at the University of Colorado, the inventors of the technology underlying the ThermoVaxTM products. 

About Ricin Toxin

The Centers for Disease Control has classified ricin toxin as a Category B biological agent. Currently, there are no FDA approved therapeutics or vaccines that can be used to protect against ricin exposure or to reverse its effects once exposed. Ricin toxin is a protein that consists of an A and B subunit that can be extracted from the beans of the castor plant, Ricinus communis. The potential use of ricin toxin as a biological weapon of mass destruction has been highlighted in an FBI Bioterror report released in November 2007, entitled
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SOURCE Soligenix, Inc.
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