Rare-disease specialist Soligenix ($SNGX) has picked up two new funding rounds totaling more than $600,000 to support its preclinical work on a military and civilian oral treatment for radiation effects in the gastrointestinal system.
The company is developing its OrbeShield as a locally acting therapy to treat gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome. The oral treatment’s active ingredient is the topical corticosteroid beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), which is currently used with different delivery methods for asthma, psoriasis and allergic rhinitis.
The funding rounds came from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). And because oral BDP has orphan drug designations in the U.S. and Europe, the company has 7 years of exclusivity in the U.S. and 10 years in Europe.
OrbeShield combines an immediate and delayed release in one regimen to alleviate the symptoms of radiation exposure in the GI tract. The loss of epithelial cells lining the tract is one of the first--and can be one of the deadliest--radiation effects.
Funding before this for OrbeShield has come from a $1 million NIH grant to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which has an academic partnership with Soligenix, as well as exercised funds of $7 million from NIAID and $11 million from BARDA.
- here's the Soligenix release
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