Major smallpox vaccine order announcement expected

The biodefense company SIGA Technologies, which engages in the discovery, development and commercialization of products for use in defense against biological warfare agents, is expected to make a major announcement about government orders of its product soon.

SIGA announced in May that it had submitted a response to the Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority about the agency's outstanding RFP for the procurement of 1.7 million courses of a smallpox antiviral.

The inhaled smallpox virus is considered by the United States government to be the single biggest biological threat to the nation's citizens in the event of a biological attack by terrorists.

SIGA applies viral and bacterial genomics as well as sophisticated computational modeling to design and develop novel products with the intention of preventing and treating serious infectious diseases. SIGA places a special emphasis on products for defense against biological warfare.

In addition to its smallpox vaccine, SIGA has developed antiviral programs that target such Category A pathogens as arenaviruses - including Lassa fever, Junin, Machupo, Guanarito, Sabia and lymphocytic choriomeningitis - dengue virus and the filoviruses Ebola and Marburg.

SIGA has worked with the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and other federal agencies in advancing its novel countermeasures to prevent and treat serious biological warfare diseases.

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