Who Is Preparing Us for the Next Potential Pandemic?
New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - July 29, 2021) - -- PCG Digital -- Dr. Fauci said it publicly this week, but we've all been thinking it for months now. COVID-19 did not hit us, "out of the blue." Scientists, medical professionals, and researchers have been expecting this for years. The global pandemic was no surprise to them.
It will happen again. That's not prophetic gloom and doom. It's scientific fact. With the number of communicable diseases and viruses currently out there, we are bound to be in this situation again in the not-so-distant future. How are we preparing for that?
"We need to make "prototype" vaccines to protect against viruses from about 20 families that might spark a new pandemic," Dr. Fauci stated this week. "I've been promoting this idea with the White House, and I believe we can get the funding to begin the project in 2022."
Dr. Fauci's proposal, which is supported by both the medical and scientific communities, is receiving national media attention. On Monday, it appeared in US News and the New York Times. Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), calls the project, "compelling" and believes that funding approval is likely.
Soligenix (NASDAQ: SNGX) is Already in the Fight, with a business unit dedicated to serious public health concerns
Soligenix, a late-stage biopharmaceutical company, has received in excess of $60 million of government funding to date to fund these public heath efforts. They have been working on heat stabilized vaccine candidates targeting SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. The technology for that is also being employed for vaccine candidates to combat Ebola and Marburg.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is the same organization that identified the twenty virus families Dr. Fauci referred to, awarded $1.5 million to Soligenix last year as a Direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant.
Heat stable vaccines overcome the significant challenge that distributors currently face with vaccines that need to be stored at sub-zero temperatures. ThermoVax™, the Soligenix thermostabilization platform, can stabilize vaccines at up to 104° Fahrenheit for over one year.
Soligenix vaccines are also subunit vaccines, not viral vector, meaning that the typical safety profile is suitable for immune compromised and elderly populations. There's no limit to how many times the adjuvant and the antigen can be used, especially if vaccine booster shots are required.
All Eyes are on Filoviruses as the Next Big Threat
Marburg is a member of the filovirus family, meaning it can only be communicated through physical contact with an infected host, either human or animal. It's a form of hemorrhagic fever that has a mortality rate of 23% to 90%. It killed 470 people between 1967 and 2012.
Ebola, which is more well-known than Marburg, is also a filovirus. Between 2014 and 2016, it killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa. In August of 2018, nearly 3,500 people were infected, with a death toll of 66%. Eleven of those cases were in the United States.
Treating these viruses as distant threats that won't affect the Western Hemisphere or Europe is a mistake. Dr. Fauci commented on this, "What will happen if the next pandemic comes from a virus that causes Lassa fever, from the Sudan strain of Ebola, or from a Nipah virus?"
Soligenix is on the front lines in this battle also. They have demonstrated the feasibility of developing heat stable subunit filovirus vaccines to combat hemorrhagic disease caused by Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, and Marburg Marburgvirus. Recent positive data in non-human primates has shown that these heat stable formulations are effective at generating immunogenicity or protection.
Dr. Fauci is asking for a few billion dollars a year to prepare us for the next impending health crisis. Soligenix understands that these threats are real and is being proactive about them. This is how we make sure we don't get caught unawares again.
If funded, a government program costing several billion dollars could develop "prototype" vaccines to protect against 20 families of viruses.
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