NIAID awards Bavarian Nordic pathogen vaccine contract

Vaccine developer Bavarian Nordic A/S announced on Monday that it has been awarded a $17.9 million contract by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop vaccines against priority pathogens.

The five year contract will allow the company to develop candidate vaccine technologies and components to improve the immune response after the intentional release of threatening pathogens.

As part of the contract, Bavarian Nordic will look into multiple novel technologies to enhance or accelerate the immune response to a combined Marburg virus and smallpox vaccine. The vaccines are based on the companies MVA-BN technology.

"This is the first major award the company has received for a recombinant MVA-BN based vaccine and is a recognition of the huge potential of MVA-BN as a vaccine vector for infectious diseases and cancer," Anders Hedegaard, the president and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, said. "This contract broadens our collaboration with the U.S. government and we are excited to explore the opportunity to expand the scope of application for our MVA-BN technology platform, which we have successfully developed through our contracts with the U.S. government to develop our IMVAMUNE smallpox vaccine."

Marburg virus and smallpox are both considered priority pathogens by the U.S. government. During the two year base period of the contract, the company will evaluate multiple candidate vaccines in preclinical studies. The company does not anticipate the contract will affect its 2012 full year expectations.