US ARMY, EMISPHERE TO STUDY ORAL ANTHRAX VACCINE



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Last Updated

20 Jun 2003

Source: Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2003

US Army, Emisphere To Study Oral Anthrax Vaccine

By HOLLISTER H. HOVEY Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK -- -The U.S. Army will test Emisphere Technologies Inc.'s (EMIS) drug delivery method as a potential way to administer the anthrax vaccine orally rather than as a series of shots, Emisphere said.

The Tarrytown, N.Y., company has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the lab charged with doing bioterrorism research for the Department of Defense.

As part of the deal, Emisphere will combine a vaccine based on a recombinant protein antigen and combine it with its eligenT delivery agents, molecules that help larger macromolecules like proteins be transported across membranes through which they don't naturally flow, like the intestine.

The studies are being conducted solely to determine if it's possible to take an anthrax vaccine orally.

Should an oral anthrax vaccine be developed, Emisphere would be eligible to receive royalties under a license agreement with a vaccine developer.

The current anthrax vaccine is manufactured and distributed by BioPort Corp. out of Lansing, Mich. The immunization consists of three subcutaneous injections given two weeks apart followed by three additional subcutaneous injections given at six, 12, and 18 months. Annual booster injections of the vaccine are recommended thereafter.