Soligenix President Christopher Schaber will present a company overview at the 2016 Aegis Growth Conference Sept. 20-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company is developing SGX301 (synthetic hypericin), a molecule that can be activated by safe visible fluorescent light to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).
The presentation provides Soligenix, which makes a variety of medications and vaccines, the opportunity to develop new collaborations with financial investors and continue research and development of therapies against rare diseases.
Compared to other cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy drugs or UV light treatment, SXG301 avoids the risk of negative effects such as DNA damage. When activated by light, hypericin induces the production of a molecule called singlet oxygen, an energetic form of oxygen that causes cell death in lymphoid cells and inhibits the growth of malignant T-cells. Researchers said that topical hypericin can induce cell death specifically at the desired site.
According to Princeton, New Jersey-based Soligenix, a Phase 1 clinical trial with healthy subjects showed that synthetic hypericin is safe, and a Phase 2 trial showed that the drug was well-tolerated and successful in reducing skin lesions in patients with CTCL.
The company is recruiting patients for its FLASH Phase 3 clinical trial (NCT02448381), assessing the effectiveness of SGX301 compared to a placebo in patients with CTCL.
Other therapies under development by Soligenix include two oral corticosteroids for the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders with severe inflammation: SGX203 for pediatric Crohn’s disease, and SGX201, for acute radiation enteritis. Soligenix is also developing SGX942 (dusquetide) to enhance the immune system in patients with oral mucositis.
Several vaccines are also being developed and tested by Soligenix:
- RiVax, a vaccine against exposure to ricin, a toxic protein produced by the castor oil plant;
- OrbeShield, a vaccine for gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome;
- SGX943, a vaccine containing dusquetide designed to protect against melioidosis, an infection caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei.
All vaccines were created with a Soligenix technology that allows the production, transportation, and storage of the vaccines with no requirement for cold temperatures (ThermoVax Heat Stabilization).
The vaccines business segment is funded with up to $58 million in U.S. government grants and contracts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).