U.S. patent issued for Soligenix vaccine stabilization technology

Soligenix, a Princeton, New Jersey-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for the company's ThermoVax vaccine thermostabilization technology.

ThermoVax is a novel method to stabilize vaccines adjuvanted with aluminum salt, also known as Alum, at elevated temperatures. The novel technology could eliminate the need for cold-chain production, transportation and storage for Alum adjuvanted vaccines. ThermoVax is exclusively licensed to Soligenix by the University of Colorado.

The main patent claims describe methods to prepare an immunologically-active adjuvant-bound, freeze-dried, thermostable vaccine composition in which the vaccine uses Alum adjuvants. The main patent also includes claims for the adjuvant-bound composition itself.

"The granting of the thermostabilization patent is a significant milestone for the ThermoVax program and is a critical component in our commercialization strategy for vaccines that can avoid the increased costs and logistical burdens associated with cold chain storage and distribution," Christopher Schaber, the president and CEO of Soligenix, said. "We expect that the introduction of an effective technology for long-term stabilization of vaccines has the potential to be a major advance in the national effort to develop effective countermeasures and therapies for significant biothreats and emerging pathogens. We have initiated discussions with a number of vaccine companies and non-profit organizations regarding the potential for collaboration on heat stable versions of their vaccine candidates."

The World Health Organization and other agencies estimate that a meaningful proportion of vaccine doses are wasted worldwide due to excursions from the required cold chain temperature ranges of between two and eight degrees Celsius. Eliminating the cold chain could facilitate the use of vaccines in the developing world and increase the profitability of vaccine products.

Soligenix is developing ThermoVax pursuant to a $9.4 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.