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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.
Elusys’ Anthim BLA to treat inhalational anthrax accepted for review by the FDA

Elusys’ Anthim BLA to treat inhalational anthrax accepted for review by the FDA

Elusys Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted for filing and review its Biologics License Application for Anthim® (obiltoxaximab) for the treatment and prevention of inhalational anthrax, a top bioterror threat which was submitted on March 20, 2015. Anthim is a candidate for future acquisition into the Strategic National Stockpile, the U.S. government's repository of critical medical supplies for biowarfare preparedness. [More]
UVA scientists find blueprint for combating human disease using DNA clad in near-indestructible armor

UVA scientists find blueprint for combating human disease using DNA clad in near-indestructible armor

By unlocking the secrets of a bizarre virus that survives in nearly boiling acid, scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have found a blueprint for battling human disease using DNA clad in near-indestructible armor. [More]
Soligenix, Emergent BioSolutions sign development agreement

Soligenix, Emergent BioSolutions sign development agreement

Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology and biodefense, announced today that it has initiated a development agreement with Emergent BioSolutions to implement a commercially viable, scalable production technology for the RiVax drug substance protein antigen. [More]
Sandia biosciences technologies could soon find their way into doctors' offices

Sandia biosciences technologies could soon find their way into doctors' offices

Technologies developed in Sandia National Laboratories' biosciences program could soon find their way into doctors' offices -- devices like wearable microneedles that continuously analyze electrolyte levels and a lab-on-a-disk that can test a drop of blood for 64 different diseases in minutes. [More]
Bioethics Commission makes recommendations on preparedness for public health emergencies

Bioethics Commission makes recommendations on preparedness for public health emergencies

Today the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) reported that the federal government has both a prudential and a moral responsibility to actively participate in coordinated global responses to public health emergencies wherever they arise. [More]
Elusys presents positive results of obiltoxaximab for treating inhalational anthrax, post-exposure prophylaxis

Elusys presents positive results of obiltoxaximab for treating inhalational anthrax, post-exposure prophylaxis

Elusys Therapeutics, Inc. (Elusys), a biopharmaceutical company developing antibody therapies to treat infectious disease, presented data demonstrating that obiltoxaximab (ETI-204) demonstrated a statistically significant survival benefit across a range of disease severity in animal model studies assessing treatment of inhalational anthrax, as well as effectiveness in post-exposure prophylaxis. [More]
Investigators develop microbiome map of New York City subway system

Investigators develop microbiome map of New York City subway system

The microbes that call the New York City subway system home are mostly harmless, but include samples of disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to drugs -- and even DNA fragments associated with anthrax and Bubonic plague -- according to a citywide microbiome map published today by Weill Cornell Medical College investigators. [More]
Soligenix's SGX301 receives FDA 'Fast Track' designation for CTCL treatment

Soligenix's SGX301 receives FDA 'Fast Track' designation for CTCL treatment

Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology and biodefense, announced today that its SGX301 (synthetic hypericin) development program for the first-line treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) has received "Fast Track" designation from the US Food and Drug Administration. [More]
FDA provides Emergency Use Authorization for Roche's LightMix Ebola Zaire rRT-PCR Test

FDA provides Emergency Use Authorization for Roche's LightMix Ebola Zaire rRT-PCR Test

Roche today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has provided an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the LightMix Ebola Zaire rRT-PCR Test for use on patients with signs and symptoms of Ebola Zaire virus infection in conjunction with epidemiological risk factors, such as individuals traveling from West Africa. [More]
Soligenix closes previously announced registered public offering

Soligenix closes previously announced registered public offering

Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology and biodefense, announced today that on December 24, 2014 it closed its previously announced registered public offering. [More]
ADI develops ELISA test kits for detection of Ebola viral protein antibodies

ADI develops ELISA test kits for detection of Ebola viral protein antibodies

San Antonio, Texas-based Biotech Company Alpha Diagnostic Int'l has developed and released several convenient, rapid, and sensitive ELISA test kits for the detection of major Ebola viral protein antibodies (Glycoprotein, GP; Nucleoprotein, NP, and Viral Protein 40 or VP40). [More]
IU Bloomington biologists to receive funding from NSF’s Dimensions of Biodiversity Program

IU Bloomington biologists to receive funding from NSF’s Dimensions of Biodiversity Program

Indiana University Bloomington biologists who specialize in the ecology and evolution of microbes have been named one of 12 teams in the nation to receive funding from the National Science Foundation's Dimensions of Biodiversity Program. [More]
Pharmaceutical industry withdraws from the antibiotic space

Pharmaceutical industry withdraws from the antibiotic space

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that at least 2 million Americans are sickened by antibiotic resistant infections each year and survive. [More]
LLNL scientists issued patent for producing antimicrobial compounds to fight superbugs

LLNL scientists issued patent for producing antimicrobial compounds to fight superbugs

Superbugs, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, have been on the rise since antibiotics were first introduced 80 years ago. That's because these germ-fighting agents have lost their punch from being overprescribed and misused, allowing bacteria pathogens to develop immunities against them. [More]
MIT researchers use disarmed version of anthrax toxin to deliver cancer drugs

MIT researchers use disarmed version of anthrax toxin to deliver cancer drugs

Bacillus anthracis bacteria have very efficient machinery for injecting toxic proteins into cells, leading to the potentially deadly infection known as anthrax. A team of MIT researchers has now hijacked that delivery system for a different purpose: administering cancer drugs. [More]
Elusys completes phase 3 clinical program of obiltoxaximab in healthy adult volunteers

Elusys completes phase 3 clinical program of obiltoxaximab in healthy adult volunteers

Elusys Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing antibody therapies to treat infectious disease, today announced it has completed three phase 3 healthy adult volunteer safety studies of obiltoxaximab (ETI-204). [More]
Soligenix awarded $24.7 million contract to advance development of Rivax vaccine

Soligenix awarded $24.7 million contract to advance development of Rivax vaccine

Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology and biodefense, announced today that it has been awarded a contract valued at up to $24.7 million inclusive of options 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]
Soligenix acquires novel orphan drug candidate for treatment of CTCL

Soligenix acquires novel orphan drug candidate for treatment of CTCL

Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology and biodefense, announced today the acquisition of a novel orphan drug candidate, known as SGX301 (synthetic hypericin). [More]
Soligenix announces promising preliminary results from study on ricin toxin vaccine

Soligenix announces promising preliminary results from study on ricin toxin vaccine

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 promising preliminary results from a preclinical study with its ricin toxin vaccine RiVax™, in a non-human primate (NHP) lethal aerosol exposure model. [More]
Rice University researchers confirm potent synthesis of natural tetracycline

Rice University researchers confirm potent synthesis of natural tetracycline

A fortuitous collaboration at Rice University has led to the total synthesis of a recently discovered natural antibiotic. [More]
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