FhCMB wins $9.9 million contract from NIH for anthrax vaccines

The Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology announced on Tuesday that it won a $9.9 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease toward developing the next generation of anthrax vaccines.

The contract, which includes a $1.76 million first-year phase, is meant to support the advanced development of candidate vaccine technologies and components that speed up the human immune response after intentional or natural exposure to anthrax-causing Bacillus anthracis, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports.

The contract covers multiple activities for FhCMB, including preclinical activities, formulation development and stability, protein purification, agro infiltration, biomass generation, pre-IND activities and IND submission. The contract ends with the option to conduct a Phase I clinical trial. The activities will result from successful completion of prior milestones and the exercising of contract options.

Upon the completion of clinical trials, FhCMB will work closely with iBio, its commercialization partner, to meet the needs of the U.S. government by advancing the vaccine.

Isconova, a Swedish-owned company, will develop an adjuvant to combine with the FhCMB antigen.

"(The combined product) has the potential for an improved vaccine," Vidadi Yusibov, the Fraunhofer center's executive director, said, according to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.