Soligenix Inc., formerly known as DOR BioPharma Inc., a late-stage biotechnology company, today announced it has formed a consortium to develop technology to enhance acting vaccines, including RiVax, the company’s proprietary vaccine for ricin toxin, which can be used as a biological weapon. Soligenix also announced it was awarded a $9.4 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to continue this work.

The announced consortium draws together industry and academic researchers from various disciplines, including the University of Colorado, the University of Kansas, and the Tulane National Primate Research Center, SRI International, Health Research Inc, Battelle Memorial Institute, Nanotherapeutics, and BioCon Inc.

“Each of our academic and industry consortium members brings impressive expertise to our vaccine stabilization program,” Dr. Robert N. Brey, PhD, chief scientific officer of Soligenix stated in the press release. “This association has the potential to address the practical issue of long-term stability in stockpiled biodefense vaccines, using a technology basis that can ultimately be applied to other commercial vaccine products.”

Soligenix has secured an option agreement with the University of Colorado to develop vaccines, including RiVax, that can maintain stability at elevated temperatures, which will be the base of research and development efforts.

“Our progress with RiVax has been notable, and this grant award further validates the previous work and merits of our biodefense program,” Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, president and CEO of Soligenix stated. “We look forward to working with our outstanding partners in this consortium to develop thermally stable biodefense vaccines to address two high-priority biothreats.”