The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last week that it will be adding two antitoxin drugs to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to counteract potential anthrax outbreaks.
The HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) said the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has reached a five-year agreement with Elusys Therapeutics to produce and supply its Anthim antitoxin treatment. This agreement is valued at $44.9 million. As the continuation of an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), BARDA will be supporting the production and supply of its Raxibacumab to replenish stock that is set to expire. This agreement extension is valued at $9.7 million and would extend through 2019.
“Anthrax remains a bioterrorist threat, and the actions we are taking today will help protect our nation against that threat,” BARDA Director Robin Robinson said. “By expanding the treatment options available within the SNS, we can help meet the diverse needs of the American people in an anthrax-related emergency.”
Both Anthim and Raxibacumab are antibody treatments. The latter became the first anthrax antitoxin to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012.
BARDA and the ASPR are also involved in further research and development of treatments and other countermeasures against biological threats and emerging pathogens.