Anthrax Treatment Engineered by Texas ChE Researchers Gains FDA Approval

George Georgiou | Via U. Texas Austin | April 4, 2016

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, including Texas ChE’s Dr. George Georgiou and Dr. Jennifer Maynard, successfully culminated years of work when a drug they engineered for the treatment and prevention of inhalational anthrax — the anthrax antitoxin obiltoxaximab — received approval March 21 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Part of the molecule was engineered at UT Austin before being licensed to New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Elusys Therapeutics for further development. It will be sold under the name Anthim.

The university researchers, whose work began more than a decade ago, engineered a high-affinity, “sticky” antibody fragment that binds to the anthrax toxin, blocking its activity.

On March 21, the FDA approved Anthim (obiltoxaximab) to treat inhalational anthrax in combination with appropriate antibacterial drugs and to prevent the disease when alternative therapies are not available or appropriate.