BARDA to exercise option on botulism antitoxin

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that administers biodefense stockpiling contracts, will exercise options under a botulism antitoxin supply contract with Cangene Corporation.

The options are expected to generate $61 million in additional revenue over the new few years for Cangene, one of Canada’s first and largest biopharmaceutical companies. The delivery schedule for the botulism antitoxin will be extended to 2018 for the approximately 80,000 doses that remain.

By exercising the options, the total contract value for Cangene rises from $362 million to $423 million, for which Cangene has already recognized approximately $200.1 million.

"This is an extremely positive step," Michael Graham, acting president and CEO of Cangene, said. "Not only does this significantly increase the total revenue value of this contract, it also indicates that BARDA is adopting a strategy of extending these types of contracts to replenish supplies of biodefense products. As the supplier for three products in the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, that's an indication we are happy to see. It also provides for a consistent addition to our revenue stream for the next seven years."

In addition to the botulism antitoxin, the company has also introduced two other items to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile - an anthrax immune globulin and a vaccinia immune globulin, which counteracts certain complications that can occur from smallpox vaccination.