PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix or the Company), a development stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that results of a study in a canine model of OrbeShield TM (oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate) will be presented at a poster session entitled, "Post-exposure oral 17,21-beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) improves survival in a canine gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI ARS) model." The presentation will be made during the 58 th Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 30 through October 3, 2012. In the recently completed study in canines and as previously announced, statistically significant survival was observed in dogs that received OrbeShield™ therapy starting both 2 and 24 hours following exposure to total body irradiation (TBI). The program was designed to simulate real world scenarios in which people exposed to various levels of radiation would not be able to reach care centers immediately after a nuclear event. In the study, untreated dogs died at a median time of 8 days when exposed to high dose radiation of 10-12 Gray (Gy) even if the dogs were given intensive supportive care such as antibiotics, intravenous fluids and anti-emetics. Transplant of autologous bone marrow cells also had no effect on the rate of death of the exposed animals due to acute effects on the GI tract. During the observation period, the survival of dogs was strongly correlated to the recovery from acute radiation damage to the GI tract. These studies were conducted by George E. Georges, MD, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) under a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funded grant. The OrbeShield™ program is also the subject of a new $600,000 NIAID Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant supporting further evaluation as a treatment for GI ARS. For more details on the congress, please visit the official congress web site: http://timssnet2.allenpress.com/ECOMradressnet/common/tnt_frontpage.cfmAbout GI ARS ARS occurs after toxic radiation exposure and involves several organ systems, notably the bone marrow the GI tract and later the lungs. In the event of a nuclear disaster or terrorist detonation of a nuclear bomb, casualties exposed to >2 Gray (Gy) are at high risk for development of clinically significant ARS. Exposure to high doses of radiation exceeding 10-12 Gy causes acute GI injury which can result in death in 5-15 days. The GI tract is highly sensitive due to the requirement for incessant proliferation of crypt stem cells and production of mucosal epithelium. The extent of injury to the bone marrow and the GI tract are the principal determinants of survival after exposure to TBI. Although the hematopoietic syndrome can be rescued by bone marrow transplantation or growth factor administration, there is no established treatment or preventive measure for the GI damage that occurs after high-dose radiation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop specific medical countermeasures against the lethal pathophysiological manifestations of radiation-induced GI injury.