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Princeton, NJ, United States

Legler P.M.,U.S. Navy | Brey R.N.,Soligenix | Smallshaw J.E.,Cancer Immunobiology Center | Vitetta E.S.,Cancer Immunobiology Center | Millard C.B.,U.S. Army
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2011

RiVax is a recombinant protein that is currently under clinical development as part of a human vaccine to protect against ricin poisoning. RiVax includes ricin A-chain (RTA) residues 1-267 with two intentional amino-acid substitutions, V76M and Y80A, aimed at reducing toxicity. Here, the crystal structure of RiVax was solved to 2.1 Å resolution and it was shown that it is superposable with that of the ricin toxin A-chain from Ricinus communis with a root-mean-square deviation of 0.6 Å over 258 C α atoms. The RiVax structure is also compared with the recently determined structure of another potential ricin-vaccine immunogen, RTA 1-33/44-198 R48C/T77C. Finally, the locations and solvent-exposure of two toxin-neutralizing B-cell epitopes were examined and it was found that these epitopes are within or near regions predicted to be involved in catalysis. The results demonstrate the composition of the RiVax clinical material and will guide ongoing protein-engineering strategies to develop improved immunogens. © 2011 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore - all rights reserved. Source

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2014

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Oral mucositis has a significant impact on patient quality of life and outcomes during cancer therapy as well as having a significant pharmacoeconomic cost. There are no currently approved drugs to treat oral mucositisin patients with non-hematological malignancies, including head and neck cancer (HNC). Soligenix is developing a new compound, SGX942, a modulator of the innate defense system, which binds to the p62 protein. p62 is a key adaptor protein that functions downstream of key sensing receptors of the innate defense system. Preclinical studies with SGX942 revealed a significant reduction in both duration and peak intensity of oral mucositis in both a fractionated radiation-induced hamster model of oral mucositisand a chemotherapy- induced mouse model of oral (tongue) mucositis: there was ~50% reduction in the duration of severe mucositis. Efficacy was dose responsive and optimal at 25 mg/kg dosed every third day during fractionated radiation therapy. Based o

Innate Defense Regulators (IDRs) interact with intracellular signaling events and modulate the innate defense response. Whereas much of the initial work with the IDRs focused on their role in fighting infection, recent results in animal models of chemotherapy- or radiation-induced mucositis and wound healing suggest that IDRs can be beneficial during the responses to a broader range of damage-inducing agents beyond pathogens. RIVPA (SEQ ID NO. 5), has demonstrated safety in humans and efficacy in animal models of fractionated radiation-induced and chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis, in models of chemotherapy induced damage to the gastro-intestinal tract and in models of local and systemic Gram-positive and Gram-negative infection in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. Based on this information, we propose the use of RIVPA (SEQ ID NO. 5) and/or other IDRs (Table 1) as a novel treatment for Macrophage Activation Syndrome.

Results from two randomized trials have shown that oral beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) is effective for treatment of acute gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Here, we report results of a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled phase II study designed to test the hypothesis that acute GVHD could be prevented by administration of oral BDP, beginning before hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and continuing until day 75 after HCT. Study drug (BDP or placebo) was administered as 1 mg immediate-release formulation plus 1 mg delayed-release formulation orally four times daily. According to the primary endpoint, systemic glucocorticoid treatment for GVHD was given to 60 of the 92 participants (65%) in the BDP arm, versus 31 of 46 participants (67%) in the placebo arm. The secondary efficacy endpoints showed no statistically significant differences between the two arms. The proportion of participants who took at least 90% of the prescribed study drug during the first 4 weeks after HCT was 54% overall. Lower severity of mucositis strongly correlated with higher adherence to the schedule of study drug administration. Inconsistent adherence related to mucositis during recovery after myeloablative conditioning may have obscured a beneficial therapeutic effect in the current study.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 300.00K | Year: 2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) is an expensive life-threatening complication following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in some patients that receive this life-saving treatment for certain cancers. The proposed open-label, multi-center, two-part Phase 2 clinical study is designed to evaluate the potential of orBec(R), a novel formulation of oral beclomethasone 17,21- dipropionate (BDP), as a treatment for chronic gastrointestinal cGVHD. OrBec(R), as developed by Soligenix, is formulated as two separate drug products for oral administration as an immediate release and delayed release tablet, each containing 1 mg of BDP, a potent, locally-acting corticosteroid originally developed primarily for the prevention and treatment of acute gastrointestinal graft versus host disease (aGVHD). The reduced systemic bioavailability of oral BDP offers a major therapeutic advantage over systemic glucocorticoids such as prednisone and methylprednisolone, which have well-recognized adverse effects (e.g., development of glucose intolerance, Cushingoid habitus, muscle weakness and fatigue, bone demineralization, and increased risks of infections). Adverse effects of systemic glucocorticoid administration can be avoided by use of topically active glucocorticoids. The protocol for this Phase 2 CLINICAL STUDY was submitted to IND 20,212 June 24, 2011. To date, no additional FDA feedback on the study design has been noted by the FDA. We will conduct this Phase 2 clinical study with thefollowing specific goals, which form the Specific Aims of this proposal: To conduct a FDA reviewed and accepted Phase 2 clinical study: the study will be a point estimate design aimed at elucidating the dose response needed to define future placebo-controlled studies. The placebo-controlled study will be the Phase 3 clinical study that will be described in the Phase II SBIR proposal. This study will estimate the proportion of subjects who achieve a complete response (CR), partial response (PR) and overall response (OR) of GI GVHD signs and symptoms when treated with orBec(R), 2 mg four times a day (8 mg/day) for up to 16 weeks, in patients with cGVHD. The secondary objectives of this study are to determine the: i. proportion of subjects who experience a flare/worsening of GI GVHD; ii. time to flare/worsening of GI GVHD at each dose-level; iii. time to CR during the initial 16 weeks of orBec(R) treatment; and iv. time to flare/worsening of GI GVHD signs and symptoms during each of the planned orBec(R) dose reductions in Part 2 of the study. The safety objectives are to evaluate safety and tolerability of orBec(R) in subjects with cGVHD. Upon completion of the Phase 2 clinical study, Soligenix will be in a position to begin the process for a Phase 3 FDA reviewed and accepted clinical study, on the road to the first drug to be approved for treatment for cGVHD. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Currently there are no FDA approved therapies specifically for prevention or treatment of chronic GVHD (cGVHD). Furthermore, there are no FDA approved therapies for the prevention of the gastrointestinal manifestation of cGVHD. Off-label treatments (e.g., prednisone) are typically used; however, they can be associated with serious side effects that seriously diminish the quality of life for cancer survivors that have undergone life saving hematopoietic cell transplantation. More simply stated the underlying hematologic malignancy can be cured; however, the treatment utilized comes with its own set of negative consequences. This grant application requests funding to initiate (via a Phase 2 clinical study) the clinical evaluation of orBec(R), oral beclomethasone 17,21- dipropionate (BDP) for use in treating the gastrointestinal signs and symptoms associated with cGVHD. OrBec(R)is a two tablet system consisting of 1 delayed release and 1 immediate release tablet each containing 1mg BDP. The development of cGVHD and its GI complications significantly impacts the patient's quality of life and can in some cases be fatal. Based on previous clinical studies and the pharmacology of BDP, Soligenix and its medical advisors believe that orBec(R) has the potential to treat the GI manifestation of cGVHD, thereby improving the quality of life of cancer survivors as well as potentially impacting overall mortality. Upon completion of the proposed clinical study, Soligenix intends to evaluate the data generated with the intent of designing a placebo-controlled clinical study (e.g., Phase 3) to demonstrate both the safety and efficacy of orBec(R)for use in this indication.

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