BARDA seeking smallpox antiviral

SIGA Technologies recently announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority, a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has issued a request for proposal seeking 1.7 million doses of a smallpox antiviral.

The new proposal would cancel any previous proposals and any contract would contain an option to buy 12 million further doses. Responses to this proposal are due by February 28, according to MSNBC.

"This new request for proposal confirms the government's commitment to a robust biodefense and the procurement of meaningful, new medical countermeasures against the most serious biothreat,” Eric Rose, the chief executive officer of SIGA and its chairman, said, according to MSNBC. “SIGA intends to respond to this request for proposal, and we believe that we are well positioned to meet the Government's needs."

SIGA Technologies is a company that specializes in the development of pharmaceuticals to combat biowarfare agents. It employs sophisticated computer modeling and utilizes bacterial and viral genomics in the design and development of its products for the treatment of infectious diseases.

The company has antiviral programs for smallpox and other Category A pathogens, including arenaviruses (Lassa fever, Junin, Machupo, Guanarito, Sabia and lymphocytic choriomeningitis), dengue virus and the filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg).