Emergent BioSolutions Inc. signs contract for third generation anthrax vaccine candidate

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has signed a contract for advanced development of its third generation anthrax vaccine candidate.

The contract, valued at up to $28.7 million, was signed with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an institute within the National Institutes of Health.

The third generation anthrax vaccine candidate is one of two such vaccines being developed as part of Emergent BioSolutions Inc.'s anthrax franchise, which consists of BioThrax in combination with CPG 7909, a novel immunostimulatory compound.

"Emergent applauds the U.S. government's commitment to protecting the nation against biological threats by supporting critical development of advanced vaccine and therapeutic candidates," Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, president and chief operating officer of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., said. "We believe our vaccine candidate addresses key criteria established by the government for a third generation anthrax vaccine. If successfully developed, we believe this product would strengthen the government's portfolio of biodefense medical countermeasures."

The four year development contract consists of a two year base that is valued at $9.1. million. A milestone-based option increases the total contract value to up to $28.7 million if exercised.

The base contract is meant to fund activities related to manufacturing and stability studies of Phase II clinical trial lots, process characterization and assay validation, and clinical trial preparation.

The Phase II clinical trial has an anticipated start date for the first quarter of 2012. Preliminary data is expected to be available in the second half of 2012.

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