Contract awarded for inhalation anthrax medication

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development AUthority has awarded Pine Brook, N.J.-based Elusys Therapeutics, Inc., a contract for the advanced development of a medication to treat inhalational anthrax.

The base year of the contract is valued at $16.8 million. The federal government then has the option to continue the contract provided that performance milestones are met. All told, the potential total for the contract over a five-year period is as much as $143 million.

The contract calls for Elusys Therapeutics to continue with its development of the medication Anthim, which is specifically designed for inhaled anthrax, one of the top bioterrorism threats facing the nation. Anthim is a monoclonal antibody that is laboratory produced by a single group of genetically identical cells. The drug has been developed since 2007 under a National Institutes of Health contract that utilizes the BARDA Biodefense Medical Countermeasures Development Fund.

The new BARDA contract provide for advanced product development including a scaling up of manufacturing, formulation chemistry studies that will be used to determine how much of the drug is needed to be effective, additional human safety trials and non-clinical effectiveness studies in animals towards licensure through the Food and Drug Administration.

Anthim has already been fast tracked by the FDA and has received orphan drug designations to assist in expediting its developments.

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