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NIAID Issues Contract For Advanced Work on Smallpox-Marburg Virus Vaccine

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has issued a contract to a Danish biotechnology firm to finance advanced research of experimental vaccines that could be used against both the Marburg and smallpox viruses (see GSN, May 9).

"This new contract will support the advanced development of candidate vaccine components and technologies that accelerate the immune response for use in post-event settings following the intentional release of pathogens that are considered a threat to public health," Bavarian Nordic stated in a Monday press release.

In the initial two years of the contract, the biotechnology firm is to assess multiple potential combinative Marburg and smallpox vaccines in laboratory experiments. The contract allows for an initial clinical study for the most promising vaccine candidate

The contract is worth $17.9 million if extended to its full five years (Bavarian Nordic release, June 18).

Separately, the National Institutes of Health branch issued a half-year research grant to Alabama-based Vaxin Inc. to assess a potential anthrax vaccine candidate, the Birmingham Business Journal reported on Monday.

In 2011, the Birmingham firm was awarded $21 million to continue work on its product (Birmingham Business Journal, June 18).

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