PRINCETON, N.J., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix or the Company), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat inflammatory diseases and biodefense countermeasures where there remains an unmet medical need, announced today that it has initiated the first clinical study for development of SGX203 (oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate or oral BDP) for the treatment of pediatric Crohn's disease. The program has previously received Fast Track and Orphan Drug designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for oral BDP as a treatment for pediatric Crohn's Disease.
The objective of Study BDP-PCD-01, entitled "A Phase 1 Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Study of Oral Beclomethasone 17,21-Dipropionate (BDP) in Healthy Adolescents and Young Adults", is to determine the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) profile of oral BDP in healthy young male and female adolescents and adults. This study will enroll 24 subjects, with assessments to be completed in June 2013.
The program has been designed in collaboration with an expert in PK modeling and simulation, Jeffrey S. Barrett, PhD, FCP. Dr. Barrett is Director of both the Laboratory for Applied PK/PD and also the Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is also Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
"There are currently no FDA approved corticosteroid therapies for pediatric Crohn's disease and we believe that SGX203 has the potential to meet an important medical need in children with this serious illness," stated Kevin J. Horgan, MD, Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer of Soligenix. "Data from this study will be used to refine the PK model we have established with Dr. Barrett. The PK model provides the justification for limited PK sampling in a subsequent clinical study in the pediatric population which is planned to commence later this year. The resultant PK data will play an important role in dose selection for Phase 3. The use of PK data in this way reflects the current state of the art in pediatric drug development, leveraging the maximum amount of information from the enrolled subjects."
About Pediatric Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease is an ongoing disorder that causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn's disease can affect any area of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. The swelling caused by the disease extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The swelling can induce pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea. Because the symptoms of Crohn's disease are similar to other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, it can be difficult to diagnose. People of Ashkenazy Jewish heritage have an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease.
Crohn's disease can appear at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in adults in their 20s and 30s. However, approximately 30% of people with Crohn's disease develop symptoms before 20 years of age. Pediatric Crohn's disease is a subpopulation of approximately 80,000 patients in the United States. Crohn's disease tends to be both severe and extensive in the pediatric population and a relatively high proportion (~40%) of pediatric Crohn's patients have involvement of their upper gastrointestinal tract.
Crohn's disease presents special challenges for children and teens. In addition to bothersome and often painful symptoms, the disease can stunt growth, delay puberty, and weaken bones. Crohn's disease symptoms may sometimes prevent a child from participating in enjoyable activities. The emotional and psychological issues of living with a chronic disease such as Crohn's can be especially difficult for young people.
SGX203 contains BDP, a highly potent, topically active corticosteroid that has a local effect on inflamed tissue. BDP has been marketed in the United States and worldwide since the early 1970s as the active pharmaceutical ingredient in inhalation products for the treatment of patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma. SGX203 is a two tablet delivery system of BDP specifically designed for oral use that allows for administration of immediate and delayed release BDP throughout the small bowel and the colon. The FDA has previously awarded SGX203 Orphan Drug designation for the treatment of pediatric Crohn's disease as well as Fast Track designation.
About Soligenix, Inc.
Soligenix is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing products to treat serious gastrointestinal diseases where there remains an unmet medical need, as well as developing several biodefense vaccines and therapeutics. Soligenix is developing proprietary formulations of oral BDP (beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate) for the prevention/treatment of gastrointestinal disorders characterized by severe inflammation, including pediatric Crohn's disease (SGX203), acute radiation enteritis (SGX201) and chronic Graft-versus-Host disease (orBec®), as well as developing its novel innate defense regulator (IDR) technology for the treatment of oral Mucositis (SGX942).
Through its BioDefense Division, Soligenix is developing countermeasures pursuant to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Strategic Plan of 2011-2016 for inclusion in the US government's Strategic National Stockpile. Soligenix's lead biodefense products in development are a recombinant subunit vaccine called RiVax™, which is designed to protect against the lethal effects of exposure to ricin toxin and VeloThrax™, a vaccine against anthrax exposure. RiVax™ has been shown to be well tolerated and immunogenic in two Phase 1 clinical trials in healthy volunteers. Both RiVax™ and VeloThrax™ are currently the subject of a $9.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grant supporting development of Soligenix's new vaccine heat stabilization technology known as ThermoVax™. Soligenix is also developing OrbeShield™ for the treatment of gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI ARS) under a $600,000 NIAID Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. OrbeShieldTM has previously demonstrated statistically significant preclinical survival results in two separate canine GI ARS studies funded by the NIH. Recently, Soligenix announced a worldwide exclusive collaboration with Intrexon Corporation that will focus on the joint development of a treatment for Melioidosis, a high priority biothreat and an area of unmet medical need.
For further information regarding Soligenix, Inc., please visit the Company's website at www.soligenix.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect Soligenix, Inc.'s current expectations about its future results, performance, prospects and opportunities. Statements that are not historical facts, such as "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "potential," or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results in future periods to differ materially from what is expressed in, or implied by, these statements. Soligenix cannot assure you that it will be able to successfully develop or commercialize products based on its technology, particularly in light of the significant uncertainty inherent in developing vaccines against bioterror threats conducting preclinical and clinical trials of vaccines, obtaining regulatory approvals and manufacturing vaccines, that product development and commercialization efforts will not be reduced or discontinued due to difficulties or delays in clinical trials or due to lack of progress or positive results from research and development efforts, that it will be able to successfully obtain any further funding to support product development and commercialization efforts, including grants and awards, maintain its existing grants which are subject to performance, enter into any biodefense procurement contracts with the US Government or other countries, that it will be able to compete with larger and better financed competitors in the biotechnology industry, that changes in health care practice, third party reimbursement limitations and Federal and/or state health care reform initiatives will not negatively affect its business, or that the US Congress may not pass any legislation that would provide additional funding for the Project BioShield program. These and other risk factors are described from time to time in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, Soligenix's reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K. Unless required by law, Soligenix assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events.
SOURCE Soligenix, Inc.