Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., delivers BioThrax to allied nations

Several allied nations have received shipments of BioThrax, an anthrax vaccine produced by Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., the company reported this week.

"Emergent recognizes that governments play a key role in protecting citizens against the growing threat of bioterrorism," Allen Shofe, senior vice president public affairs of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., said. "As the maker of the only U.S. FDA-licensed anthrax vaccine, and in line with our corporate mission to protect life, we are honored to support such biopreparedness efforts of allied international governments."

BioThrax is the only FDA-licensed vaccine for use in preventing anthrax infection and is manufactured from a culture filtrate made from a non-virulent strain of Bacillus anthracis. BioThrax is meant to be taken by adults at high risk to anthrax exposure

The vaccine is indicated for active immunization of individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 who are considered at high risk of exposure to anthrax.

BioThrax works by stimulating the immune system to produce protective antibodies against protective antigens, which are one of the three proteins produced by anthrax. When protective antigens are blocked, the bacteria's lethal factor and edema factor are not able to interact with the protective antigens, neutralizing the bacteria.

In the U.S., the federal government has acquired more than 42 million doses of BioThrax, with about a quarter of those doses given to nearly 2.4 million military personnel.