U.S. funds anthrax anti-toxin trials

Sept. 17, 2012 at 7:25 AM
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PINE BROOK, N.J., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. government is providing additional funding to Elusys Therapeutics Inc. for expanded testing of an investigational agent for treatment of anthrax.

The agent ETI-204 (Anthim) is "a high-affinity, humanized and deimmunized monoclonal antibody that targets the protective antigen of B. anthracis and neutralizes the lethal effects of anthrax toxins by binding to Protective Antigen," Elusys said.

The new funding amounts to $14.5 million and was granted by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which operates within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The award brings the amount of funding the company has received from the government for development of the anti-toxin to $149 million.

"As we continue to reach milestones in the late stages of our development program, we are pleased to have the ongoing support of the U.S. government to evaluate not only IV administration but also the more rapid, cost-effective IM administration of ETI-204," said Elizabeth Posillico, president and chief executive officer of Elusys.

"Advancing the development of both IV and IM administration of our anti-toxin could provide two important options in the prevention and treatment of inhalational anthrax following a bio-warfare attack."

The new funding will be used for final, expanded safety studies for intravenous administration of ETI-204 and a dose escalation safety study for intramuscular administration.

Elusys is a New Jersey bio-pharmaceutical company developing countermeasures for bio-defense.

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