The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provided additional funding to Soligenix, Inc., this week to advance preclinical development of OrbeShield (oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate or oral BDP) as a medical countermeasure for civilian and military use in the treatment of gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI ARS).
“The supplemental funding provided by both BARDA and NIAID reflects the government’s ongoing commitment to developing MCMs for GI ARS and the compelling nature of Soligenix’s OrbeShield product and development team,” President and CEO of Soligenix Christopher J. Schaber said. “This continued funding has the potential to provide the necessary resources to accelerate the development of OrbeShield while building upon the scientific evidence supporting its use as a potential MCM in GI ARS. We thank both agencies for their past and present support and look forward to continuing our close collaboration as we advance this technology.”
ARS occurs following toxic radiation exposure and involves several organ systems, including bone marrow, the GI tract and, later, the lungs. Exposure to high doses of radiation, like those following a nuclear attack, causes acute GI injury, which can result in death in five to 15 days because the GI tract is highly sensitive to radiation-induced damage.
The additional funding totals $634,000, with $284,00 from NIAID and $350,000 from BARDA. Soligenix’s GI ARS program is supported by approximately $33 million in contract awards from BARDA and NIAID. Exercised funds to date have included $7 million from NIAID and $11 million from BARDA, including all additional funds.