Maryland Company Receives $4.9 Million for Anthrax-Vaccine Development

Maryland biopharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions announced last week that it had received $4.9 million for the development of a new anthrax vaccine that could require only two doses to provide protection (see GSN, Sept. 10).

The new vaccine is being formulated as a dry powder, according to an Emergent press release. Along with requiring minimal doses, the vaccine has prospects for a long and stable shelf life that would allow for "ambient storage" in the Strategic National Stockpile.

The funding, provided by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, is expected to be provided over two years. It provides funding for vaccine production for testing, "nonclinical safety and efficacy studies" and testing to determine the vaccine's potency at temperatures as high as 37 degrees Celsius.

"We look forward to advancing dmPA7909, along with our other vaccine and therapeutic candidates in our anthrax program, as we continue to support the U.S. government's approach of funding the development of multiple medical countermeasures against the threat of bioterrorism," James Jackson, Emergent senior vice president and chief scientific officer, said in a press release.

Federal funding is being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Emergent is the producer of BioThrax, the only vaccine licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of anthrax disease. The company is also developing other anthrax treatments and countermeasures against diseases such as botulism and hepatitis B (Emergent BioSolutions release, Sept. 30).

October 5, 2009
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Maryland biopharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions announced last week that it had received $4.9 million for the development of a new anthrax vaccine that could require only two doses to provide protection (see GSN, Sept. 10).