BARDA increases value of freeze-dried smallpox vaccine contract

The United State Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has increased the value of an existing contract with Bavarian Nordic A/S to develop a freeze-dried version of Imvamune smallpox vaccine to $94 million.

The Imvamune formulation may offer new advantages in terms of a potential increased shelf-life compared to the current frozen formulation.

The contract provides Bavarian Nordic with the funds to validate its new freeze-dried manufacturing process and the assorted clinical and pre-clinical studies necessary to support the development of the freeze-dried version of Imvamune. The increase in funding will support additional manufacturing activities and studies that can further advance the development of the vaccine by the end of the contract period.

"This contract further strengthens our long-term collaboration with the U.S. Government in the development of medical countermeasures,” Anders Hedegaard, president and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, said. “While the deliveries of the first 20 million doses of Imvamune in the current liquid-frozen formulation to the US Strategic National Stockpile are currently ongoing, this contract allows us to focus on advancing our development to further improve Imvamune and we believe that this will form the basis for future new contracts with the U.S. government.”

The contract for the vaccine was originally awarded in November 2009, providing base year funding with optional annual funding until 2014. An initial option to fund the program was exercised by BARDA in 2010. The latest funding will increase revenues in 2012 to 2014.