Biodefense co. seeking new home

Biodefense company PharmAthene, Inc., is looking to find a new base of operations in Montgomery County, Maryland, in an effort to be closer to Washington and its federal agencies.

The company is currently located in Annapolis, Maryland, and has been considering a move for at least two years, according to

PharmaAthene has retained a Baltimore brokerage firm to help it find a suitable space in the area, which is also home to one of its largest rivals, Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., has its corporate headquarters is Rockville, Maryland. It has competed with PharmAthene for lucrative contracts with federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services.

PharmAthene is currently developing a second generation recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccine known as SparVax. It recently completed final commercial scale-up activities on the drug, proving that it was able to produce the quantities needed in case of an emergency.

"PharmAthene has developed a robust manufacturing process for SparVax with the capability to produce more than 200 million [recombinant protective antigen] vaccine equivalent doses of bulk drug substance at the 50 mcg dose range on an annual basis,” Thomas Fuerst, the company's executive vice president and chief scientific officer, said, reports.