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GEN News Highlights : May 1, 2013

Soligenix, Intrexon Team Up on Dual-Purpose Drug Discovery Initiative

Soligenix and Intrexon are collaborating to develop and commercialize mAb therapies for new biodefense and infectious disease applications, the firms have announced.

Under the terms of the agreement, the biopharma firm and synthetic biology company intend to develop therapies for melioidosis—a disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers a high-priority biodefense threat with the potential for widespread dissemination through aerosol. B. pseudomallei is a Gram-negative bacteria that is highly resistant to antibiotic treatments, the firms noted. Melioidosis follows HIV/AIDS and TB as the third most common cause of death from infectious disease in Southeast Asia, the companies added.

More specifically, through this collaboration, Intrexon will provide discovery and development of therapeutic antibody candidates, followed by production of mAbs targeting melioidosis, while Soligenix is responsible for preclinical and clinical development, regulatory and government interactions, and commercialization.

This collaboration “is unique because the goal is to develop a therapy that will treat both a deadly disease currently affecting millions of people as well as fight a potential biological weapon,” Soligenix CEO Christopher Schaber said in a company statement.