Synthetic Biologics Inc (NYSEMKT:SYN), a clinical-stage company focused on developing therapeutics to protect the microbiome while targeting pathogen-specific diseases, and its Pertussis academic collaborator, The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), today announced a grant award of $400,000 to evaluate the potential of Synthetic Biologics’ monoclonal antibody, hu1B7, to prevent Pertussis in non-human primates and provide support for its potential clinical application.

Through its Exclusive Channel Collaboration with Intrexon Corporation and academic researchers at UT Austin, Synthetic Biologics is currently developing SYN-005, a combination of two humanized antibodies that includes hu1B7, for the treatment of critically ill infants with Pertussis. The Gates Foundation has awarded a grant to UT Austin to generate preclinical proof-of-concept data to test the hypothesis that antibody administration at birth may also have a role in the prevention of Pertussis. Jennifer Maynard, Ph.D., the principal investigator of the grant, will test this hypothesis by using hu1B7 provided by Synthetic Biologics.

Developing a Pertussis prophylaxis is an urgent unmet medical need. According to the World Health Organization, Pertussis is responsible for up to 300,000 deaths each year, primarily among infants during the first four months of life. Administration of hu1B7 at birth has the potential to provide four months of prophylaxis and to save thousands of lives each year.

Dr. Jennifer Maynard, associate professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at UT Austin, has conducted research to develop Pertussis therapies for more than a decade. Upon notification of the grant award, Dr. Maynard stated, “We are thrilled to be working with the Gates Foundation. This grant provides the opportunity to translate our academic efforts into a potential life-saving Pertussis prevention for infants throughout the world.”

“It’s a privilege to work with our collaborators to address the global re-emergence of Pertussis as a rising public health concern,” notedJeffrey Riley, CEO of Synthetic Biologics. “We believe Synthetic Biologics’ novel prophylactic and therapeutic monoclonal antibody approaches have long-term potential to both protect newborns from Pertussis and treat newborns with Pertussis.” (Original Source)

Shares of Synthetic Biologics closed yesterday at $2.40. SYN has a 1-year high of $4.32 and a 1-year low of $1.36. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.54 and its 200-day moving average is $2.54.

On the ratings front, Synthetic has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 12, RBC analyst Adnan Butt initiated coverage with a Buy rating on SYN and a price target of $8, which represents a potential upside of 233.3% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on October 8, BTIG’s Tim Chiang reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $5.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Adnan Butt and Tim Chiang have a total average return of -6.7% and 13.9% respectively. Butt has a success rate of 47.0% and is ranked #3555 out of 3795 analysts, while Chiang has a success rate of 61.1% and is ranked #522.

Synthetic Biologics Inc is a biotechnology company focused on the development of novel anti-infective biologic and drug candidates targeting specific pathogens that cause serious infections and other diseases.