Niaid / Barda Awards Elusys a $12 Million Contract to Further Develop Anthim, the Company's Anthrax Therapeutic
PINE BROOK, N.J., September 25, 2007 -- Elusys Therapeutics, Inc. (Elusys), a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing antibody-based therapies for the treatment of life-threatening infectious diseases, today announced it has been awarded a contract for $12 million for advanced development of Anthim(TM), the company's late-stage anthrax therapeutic. This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN272200700035C. To date, Elusys has received more than $32 million from NIAID/BARDA and the Department of Defense in support of Anthim and the company's Heteropolymer Antibody(TM) technology.
Elizabeth Posillico, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Elusys, commented on the award, "Elusys is encouraged by the continued support from the U.S. Government and we look forward to extending our collaboration with NIAID/BARDA. We are confident that Elusys has developed a highly effective and valuable anthrax therapeutic for procurement under Project BioShield for addition to the U.S. Government's Strategic National Stockpile."
Dr. Posillico continued, "Inhalation of anthrax spores rapidly leads to death if patients are not treated immediately with specific antibiotics. Typically, victims of inhalation anthrax experience only vague symptoms until it is too late, when they are in toxemia, leaving antibiotics largely ineffective. Anthrax vaccines are also ineffective unless victims are immunized well in advance of exposure. Anthim represents a 'just in time anthrax therapeutic,' that in relevant models has demonstrated complete protection against an anthrax spore challenge with a single prophylactic dose, and has shown significant protection when administered up to two days after a lethal spore challenge, with or without an antibiotic."
Anthim is high affinity monoclonal antibody that targets the protective antigen component of anthrax infection, blocking the bacteria's ability to form deadly toxins. It is being developed for prophylaxis and post-exposure treatment of inhalation anthrax. Anthim has been granted Fast Track status and Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA and is being developed under the FDA Animal Rule, a regulatory process specifically designed for the development of medical countermeasures to bioterror threats. In April of 2007, Anthim was selected to R&D Directions' list of "100 Great Investigational Drugs.
About Elusys' Heteropolymer Antibody(TM) Technology
HP Antibodies represent a new approach for the treatment of antibiotic resistant infections distinct from traditional therapies. HP Antibodies utilize natural immune system mechanisms to clear pathogens and provide a means to develop novel drug candidates targeted against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. By targeting a unique immune receptor, HP Antibodies enhance a natural clearance mechanism and direct the rapid removal of pathogens from the circulation to tissue macrophages. Elusys is currently working on novel approaches to the treatment of Staphylococcus and Candida infections using HP antibodies.
Elusys is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of life- threatening infectious disease. Current venture investors include Essex Woodlands Health Ventures LLC, Invesco Private Capital, Crescendo Ventures, MedImmune Ventures and Pfizer. For more information please visit www.elusys.com.