GAITHERSBURG, Md. -- Antex Biologics Inc. (AMEX:ANX) today commented on President Bush's proposal, outlined in his State of the Union address, to appropriate almost $6 billion to "quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, ebola and plague."
"I applaud President Bush's focus on the need for vaccines to effectively prevent infections and diseases caused by biological pathogens. I believe that the need for these vaccines is urgent and, accordingly, Antex is currently conducting vaccine research on many of the pathogens that the President outlined," stated V. M. Esposito, PhD, Antex's president and CEO. "Through grants, contracts and clinical development arrangements with the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services, Antex has conducted research and clinical evaluation on a number of bacterial pathogens and toxins."
Antex recently announced the completion of a Phase I human clinical trial, funded under contract with the U.S. Army, for its novel mucosal vaccine against Shigella, a category B bioterrorism pathogen. Shigella is a serious problem for military troops deployed overseas, causes severe dysentery and has high death rates. Widespread infection could be catastrophic to our armed forces and civilian population. Antex also recently completed a Phase II human clinical trial, funded under contract with the U.S. Navy, for its novel mucosal vaccine against Campylobacter. Campylobacter is also a Category B bioterrorism pathogen and leading cause of severe dysentery, and was a major cause of allied troop illness in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
The company, in its continuing effort to apply its innovative technologies to address agents for biological terrorism, has submitted proposals to the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services for further development of critically needed vaccines.
"We believe that we are innovative and a leader in mucosal vaccine development in the U.S.," Esposito added. "Based on our experience with these Government-categorized bioterrorism agents, and based on internally developed vaccine technologies including our nutriment signal transduction and antigen receptor technologies, we have submitted proposals to the Department of Defense and Health and Human Services to develop novel vaccines against plague and anthrax. In addition, we have also proposed to develop mechanisms to enhance the body's innate and adaptive immune responses to category A and B pathogens using various adjuvants and immunomodulators, alone and in combination.
"Antex is also busy developing new drugs to add to our country's anti- terrorism arsenal. Last year, under a contract with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, we determined that some of our novel antibiotic compounds showed significant activity against anthrax. We have proposed to the Department of Defense and Health and Human Services to further develop an antibiotic against anthrax and plague."
Source: Antex Biologics Inc.