Soligenix, Inc., was recently granted $9.4 million in funding to develop an anthrax vaccine in cooperation with Harvard University.
The biopharmaceutical company, based in West Windsor, New Jersey, received the grant money from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, according to NJ.com.
The current standard anthrax vaccine, known as anthrax vaccine absorbed, requires a series of multiple injections and annual booster shots. Soligenix officials believe that their new anthrax vaccine development program is capable of making a vaccine that would require only a single dose and remain effective for a long period.
“If long-term stability were achieved, the vaccine would have the potential to be stockpiled for general use and for post-exposure prophylaxis,” Soligenix CEO and President Christopher Schaber said, NJ.com reports.
Schaber said that the U.S. government has already spent close to $4 billion in efforts to develop a vaccine more effective for pre- and post-anthrax exposure.
Mercer County, the home of Soligenix, housed the facility that processed four anthrax-laced letters during the 2001 anthrax mail attacks. During those attacks a handful of postal employees were exposed to the agent through inhalation or contact with the skin. The facility was forced to close and more than 1,000 people were treated for potential exposure.