BARDA director issues statement on anthrax preparedness
Through collaboration between BARDA, Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), BioThrax was licensed to be used following potential exposure on Nov. 23. Prior to this, the vaccine was only used as a precautionary measure for those who would be at risk of coming into contact with the disease.
Robinson noted that the greatest risk of anthrax infection to civilians would be after an attack. To ensure that this vaccine could be used in this arena, clinical trials and safety studies were required.
Currently, there are two antitoxins and four antibiotics that can be used to treat anthrax exposure. Robinson stated that BARDA is continuing its support for the development of anthrax therapeutics and countermeasures by working with the NIAID and members of private industry.
Emergent Biosolutions was the primary developer of the vaccine, receiving support from BARDA to carry out necessary trials and studies.