Worthless bioterror defense company yearly report

Posted in Bioterrorism, Ricin Kooks, War On Terror at 8:50 am by George Smith

Soligenix, the old Alliance for Biosecurity firm that occasionally appears on the blog, published a statement on its activities in the year 2011 today.

A number of things stick out.

First, the company’s profit this year resulted all from a “non-refundable” cash payment, licensing purchase by a firm that must now consider itself extremely unlucky, Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals.

“The increase in revenues was a result of a $5.0 million non-refundable license fee from Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Sigma-Tau) in connection with the expansion of Soligenix’s existing North American commercialization rights to orBec …” reads the Soligenix statement.

“Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Soligenix stated, ‘In 2011 we saw the unfortunate stoppage of our Phase 3 trial of orBec …’ ” it reads further on.

Oof, Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals! They bought busted goods and there’s no warranty.

[We] have restructured the organization by decreasing headcount with a continued focus on cash management and research …” continues the Soligenix report.

The firm has also moved onward with research on development of anti-radiation sickness medicine.

Sadly, this is not good news for dogs.

“On February 21, 2012, the Company announced further promising results from its continuing preclinical study of SGX202 (oral BDP) in a canine gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI ARS) model,” states the Soligenix missive. “The new study results indicate that dogs treated with SGX202 starting 24 hours after exposure to lethal doses of total body irradiation (TBI -1.61%, news) demonstrated statistically significant (p=0.04) improvement in survival when compared to control dogs …”

Grim reading. Particularly when considering the firm’s track record of unparalleled and glorious success.

Soligenix, formerly DOR BioPharma, is a company that pretty much exists because of the war on terror. Post anthrax, funding for bioterror defense took off.

Soligenix acquired licensing for the development, testing and manufacture of a vaccine for ricin from a researcher who had come up with it as a result of her work looking at the poison from the standpoint of a potential use in cancer treatment.

However, while a totally go-go industry through the middle of the decade, some funding for bioterror defense has now fallen by the wayside, due to the the economic crash of 2008, resulting austerity, and disinterest. Most of the companies in the old Alliance for Biosecurity have languished, producing nothing.

A huge bioterror defense research and vaccine facility planned for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center championed by Tara O’Toole, old leader of biodefense lobbying (now at DHS) wound up canceled. UPMC’s bioterror defense program seems to have other troubles, too.

The ricin vaccine, although still the subject of some press releases, is — for practical purposes — orphaned for now.

Work on anthrax remains protected. However, the dirty tricks competition between the companies fighting over the taxpayer’s money has virtually guaranteed it produces nothing, corporate welfare for one or two stagnant firms.

Earlier this year, DD blog posted on Soligenix’s efforts to prop up its stock price after news of cancellation of trials for one of its potential products rendered it virtually worthless.

Stock slump: Bioterror defense company Soligenix falls on hard times.

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