Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix or the Company), a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology and biodefense, announced today that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has exercised its option to advance preclinical development of OrbeShield™ (oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate or oral BDP). The 12-month option provides an additional $2.1 million to Soligenix to advance OrbeShield™ as a medical countermeasure (MCM) for the treatment of gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI ARS). NIAID granted the award of up to $6.4 million over three years on September 18, 2013.
Soligenix's GI ARS program is supported by contract awards from both the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA) and NIAID, totaling up to approximately $32 million. In addition to developing oral BDP as a MCM, the company is also pursuing oral BDP as a treatment for GI inflammation in pediatric Crohn's disease and acute radiation enteritis.
"The execution of the second option reflects NIAID's ongoing commitment to developing MCMs for GI ARS and the compelling nature of Soligenix's OrbeShield™ product," stated Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Soligenix. "This continued funding, plus the BARDA contract awarded, has the potential to provide the necessary funding to advance the development of OrbeShield™ while building upon the scientific evidence supporting its use as a potential MCM in GI ARS. We thank NIAID for their past and present support and look forward to continuing our close collaboration as we advance this technology."