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Soligenix Sees More Gains On The Back Of New Medical Advisory Board

Soligenix (OTCQB:SNGX) says it has formed a medical advisory board to provide strategic guidance to the company as it advances the development of one of its key assets.

The company is working on developing SGX942 for the treatment of oral mucositis, a complication of cancer therapies.Soligenix said the new medical advisory board will play an important role in the design of the upcoming phase 2 clinical study of SGX942 as well as in the design of further clinical trials and associated communications with regulatory authorities.

The company noted the board will provide feedback and guidance on clinical strategies and as well as other issues such as health economics and reimbursement.

Soligenix's stock has seen a slew of share price gains in recent weeks, as it continues to develop its pipeline and receives bullish coverage by analysts. In the last month alone, its stock has almost tripled - currently changing hands at around $2.07 - up almost 1% on Monday.

The New Jersey-based company focuses on drugs for cancer-supportive care, gastrointestinal disease, and biodefense. Its lead compound, SGX942, is projected to enter phase 2 for oral mucositis in head and neck cancer in the second half of this year, with results anticipated in the second half of 2014.

The new medical advisory board will be comprised of Dr. Stephen T. Sonis, a clinical professor of oral medicine at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, as well as senior medical oncologist at Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre Dr. Dorothy Keefe and Dr. Mark Schubert, a professor in the department of oral medicine at the University of Washington.

"We are pleased to be able to attract such esteemed and enthusiastic professionals to participate as members of our Medical Advisory Board," said president and CEO of Soligenix, Christopher J. Schaber.

"The initiation of an oral mucositis program marks the first step in the development of our IDR technology platform. We look forward to working with the MAB and initiating a clinical program in 2013."

Mucositis is the clinical term for damage done to the mucosa by anti-cancer therapies like radiation and chemotherapy. It can occur in any mucosal region, but is most commonly associated with the mouth, followed by the small intestine. Mucositis affects 500,000 people in the U.S. per year and occurs in 40% of patients receiving chemotherapy, according to recent stats.

Soligenix's SGX942 is a key investment catalyst for the company, with a product launch anticipated in early 2017. In phase 1 trials, SGX942 was shown to reduce the severity and duration of oral mucositis and induce anti-inflammatory activity.

The drug maker is also developing SGX203, an oral BDP for pediatric Crohn's disease.

Beyond these two drugs, the company expects to receive additional government grants to pursue other indications of oral BDP and several biodefense therapeutics and vaccines.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.