Capacity to supply smallpox antiviral called into question

SIGA Technologies, Inc., recently announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has produced a market survey that will determine if qualified small businesses have the capacity to supply the smallpox antiviral.

SIGA specializes in developing pharmaceutical agents to combat the threat of bio-warfare pathogens. If the survey determines that a small-business set-aside is not possible for the acquisition of the smallpox antiviral, SIGA may be the only supplier that will meet the needs for distribution.

“The U.S. Government’s announcement reaffirms its commitment to acquire a smallpox antiviral for the protection of the U.S. population against the ‘material threat’ of a possible bioterrorism smallpox attack,” Dr. Eric A. Rose, SIGA’s Chairman and CEO, said.

“We believe that the market survey will demonstrate that a smallpox antiviral acquisition should not proceed as a small business set-aside," Rose said. "SIGA also believes that it best satisfies all of the criteria of the market survey but for the recent Small Business Administration ruling that we attend to appeal.

"If the current BARDA process confirms that SIGA is the only supplier that can meet the requirements for this biodefense countermeasure, and the only supplier capable of delivering the requested 1,700,000 courses of therapy in a timely manner, then BARDA may abandon the small business set-aside and adopt a different contracting mechanism. SIGA stands ready to meet the needs of the Strategic National Stockpile.”