BARDA to descope PharmAthene SparVax contract

PharmAthene, Inc., announced on Monday that it received notice from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority advising the company of its decision to descope the current SparVax anthrax vaccine contract.

BARDA will descope the contract through a partial termination for convenience. The authority will provide PharmAthene with additional guidance on the contractual changes at a later date. Following the guidance, PharmAthene will evaluate its options related to the SparVax program.

SparVax is a next-generation recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccine supported by funding from BARDA, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the National Institutes of Health.

PharmAthene demonstrated equivalent survival to BioThrax in a rabbit aerosol spore challenge model and demonstrated that SparVax was well-tolerated and capable of producing an immune response in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. PharmAthene also developed a high yield good manufacturing process for SparVax, a minimum two-year stability and potency for the vaccine and an economic advantage over the currently licensed offering with the potential savings of up to $750 million to taxpayers.

"We believe that SparVax is the most advanced next generation anthrax vaccine currently in development and we intend to explore all of our options, including seeking partnering or financing opportunities to continue our development efforts," Eric Richman, the president and CEO of PharmAthene, said. "We await more information from BARDA."

PharmAthene develops and commercializes next-generation medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats.

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