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Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in wild and domestic lower vertebrates (cattle, sheep, goats, camels, antelopes, and other herbivores), but it can also occur in humans when they are exposed to infected animals or tissue from infected animals.

Anthrax is most common in agricultural regions where it occurs in animals. These include South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. When anthrax affects humans, it is usually due to an occupational exposure to infected animals or their products. Workers who are exposed to dead animals and animal products from other countries where anthrax is more common may become infected with B. anthracis (industrial anthrax). Anthrax outbreaks occur in the United States on an annual basis in livestock and wild game animals such as deer.

Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal. B. anthracis spores can live in the soil for many years, and humans can become infected with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or by inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products. Anthrax can also be spread by eating undercooked meat from infected animals. It is rare to find infected animals in the United States.

FDA grants Orphan Drug Designation to Emergent BioSolutions' BioThrax for PEP of anthrax disease

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Orphan Drug Designation to BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) of anthrax disease resulting from suspected or confirmed exposure to Bacillus anthracis. [More]
Sandia develops credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge to small business makes

Sandia develops credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge to small business makes

A credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge developed at Sandia National Laboratories and recently licensed to a small business makes testing safer, easier, faster and cheaper. [More]
Aradigm reports record revenue of $4.6M in fourth quarter 2013

Aradigm reports record revenue of $4.6M in fourth quarter 2013

Aradigm Corporation (the "Company") today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2013. [More]
Study to understand role of bacterium in heart valve disease

Study to understand role of bacterium in heart valve disease

A disease-causing bacterium found in the mouth needs manganese, a trace mineral, in order to cause a serious heart infection, according to a preclinical study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Philips Institute for Oral Health Research in the School of Dentistry. [More]
Researchers develop new method for rapid detection of anthrax

Researchers develop new method for rapid detection of anthrax

Shortly following the 9/11 terror attack in 2001, letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to news outlets and government buildings killing five people and infecting 17 others. [More]

Researchers produce extremely accurate and detailed images of "toxic injections"

Bacteria have developed many different ways of smuggling their toxic cargo into cells. Tripartite Tc toxin complexes, which are used by bacteria like the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis and the insect pathogen Photorhabdus luminescens, are particularly unusual. [More]

Researcher reveals the secrets of Francisella tularensis bacterium that causes tularemia

Tularemia, aka "rabbit fever," is endemic in the northeastern United States, and is considered to be a significant risk to biosecurity -- much like anthrax or smallpox -- because it has already been weaponized in various regions of the world. [More]
NIAID awards Soligenix SBIR grant to further develop SGX943 for treatment of melioidosis

NIAID awards Soligenix SBIR grant to further develop SGX943 for treatment of melioidosis

Soligenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat serious inflammatory diseases where there remains an unmet medical need, as well as developing several biodefense vaccines and therapeutics, announced today that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded Soligenix a Small Business Innovation Research grant to support further preclinical development of SGX943 as a treatment for melioidosis. [More]
Researchers discover unusually large bacteriophage that infects anthrax bacterium

Researchers discover unusually large bacteriophage that infects anthrax bacterium

From a zebra carcass on the plains of Namibia in Southern Africa, an international team of researchers has discovered a new, unusually large virus (or bacteriophage) that infects the bacterium that causes anthrax. [More]
PaxVax reports interim data from Phase 3 cholera challenge study of PXVX0200

PaxVax reports interim data from Phase 3 cholera challenge study of PXVX0200

PaxVax Inc, which develops and commercializes innovative vaccines against infectious diseases in a socially responsible manner, today announced interim data from a Phase 3 cholera challenge study of its single-dose oral cholera vaccine candidate, PXVX0200 (also known as CVD 103-HgR). Trial investigators compared the rate of diarrhea in participants vaccinated with PXVX0200 to the rate in participants who had received placebo. [More]
SLU nursing faculty, students receive special training to operate Closed Point of Dispensing

SLU nursing faculty, students receive special training to operate Closed Point of Dispensing

In the case of a bioterror attack, Saint Louis University will operate a medication dispensing station for students, faculty, staff and their families, offering quick access to medicines and easing the burden on local health departments so they can serve residents who lack similar access to lifesaving drugs. [More]
Bioethics Commission releases ethical recommendations to manage incidental and secondary findings

Bioethics Commission releases ethical recommendations to manage incidental and secondary findings

Researchers conduct a memory study, scan a participant's brain, and find more than they bargain for: a tumor. What do the researchers owe the participant? What does the participant want to know? [More]

Emergent BioSolutions enters into definitive agreement to acquire Cangene

Emergent BioSolutions Inc.announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Cangene Corporation (TSX: CNJ) under which Emergent will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Cangene in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.24 per share on a fully diluted basis for an aggregate purchase price of $222 million. [More]
Soligenix initiates SGX942 Phase 2 study for treatment of oral mucositis

Soligenix initiates SGX942 Phase 2 study for treatment of oral mucositis

Soligenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat serious inflammatory diseases where there remains an unmet medical need, as well as developing several biodefense vaccines and therapeutics, announced today that it has initiated a Phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating SGX942, a first-in-class innate defense regulator, as a treatment for oral mucositis in patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy for head and neck cancer. [More]
Soligenix initiates orBec Phase 2 study for GI manifestations of chronic GVHD

Soligenix initiates orBec Phase 2 study for GI manifestations of chronic GVHD

Soligenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat serious inflammatory diseases where there remains an unmet medical need, as well as developing several biodefense vaccines and therapeutics, announced today that it has initiated a Phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating orBec (oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate or BDP) as a treatment for the gastrointestinal manifestations of chronic Graft-versus-Host disease. [More]

Inhibitor compounds could form basis of new treatments for such diseases as MRSA, anthrax

​Inhibitor compounds developed by UC Irvine structural biologists and Northwestern University chemists have been shown to bolster the ability of antibiotics to treat deadly bacterial diseases such as MRSA and anthrax. [More]
MD Anderson-developed aerosol triggers innate immunity to squelch infections

MD Anderson-developed aerosol triggers innate immunity to squelch infections

Research on an aerosol that jump-starts a rapid immune response to stifle viral respiratory infections before they can provoke asthma attacks has earned major funding from the National Institutes of Health. [More]
Group Health helps protect public from infectious diseases through nationwide network

Group Health helps protect public from infectious diseases through nationwide network

​A nationwide group of institutions that conducts clinical trials of promising candidate vaccines and therapies for infectious diseases, known as the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs), has been awarded nine contracts to strengthen and broaden the scope of its research. Group Health Research Institute is one of these institutions. [More]

Soligenix awarded $6.4M contract to advance preclinical development of OrbeShield for GI ARS

Soligenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat inflammatory diseases and biodefense medical countermeasures where there remains an unmet medical need, announced today that it has been awarded a contract valued at up to $6.4 million by the US Department of Health and Human Service's National Institutes of Health (specifically funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or NIAID). [More]

FDA grants orphan drug designation to Soligenix’s SGX94 for treatment of Acute Radiation Syndrome

Soligenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat inflammatory diseases and biodefense countermeasures where there remains an unmet medical need, announced today that the Office of Orphan Products Development of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to the active ingredient SGX94 for the treatment of acute radiation syndrome (ARS). [More]