Sen. Carl Levin tours Emergent BioSolutions' Mich. plant

As part of a statewide series of stops around the state of Michigan, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) toured Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.'s manufacturing facility in Lansing, Mich., today.

Senator Levin's tour was led by Adam Havey, the executive vice president of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.'s BioDefense Division, and Al Shofe, the senior vice president of corporate affairs at Emergent BioSolutions, as well as other senior company leaders.

As part of the tour, Senator Levin was briefed on developments at Emergent's Lansing campus, Emergent's biodefense product portfolio, the company's creation of high paying, highly skilled jobs in Michigan, and the Strategic National Stockpile's recent five year contract with Emergent for 44.75 million doses of BioThrax, the only anthrax vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The move to purchase more BioThrax doses for the Strategic National Stockpile was praised by Representative Mike Rogers (D.-Mich.) when it was first announced.

"Anthrax remains the single largest bioterror threat to the United States, and the Lansing facility and its employees are essential partners with the federal government in building a strong emergency preparedness structure,” Rogers said. “I am pleased that the CDC has provided a long term commitment to the 450 skilled workers in Lansing."

Senator Levin expressed interest in enhancements in the features of BioThrax, including its shelf life extension by the FDA in 2009 from three years to four years, how its stability is studied and what CPG is. The senator was also afforded the opportunity to discuss rPA, therapeutics and adjuvanted BioThrax.

Senator Levin is the chairman of the Armed Forces Committee and is well known for his longstanding commitment to protecting the nation's military, securing the country and growing the American manufacturing base. As part of those goals, Senator Levin questioned Emergent officials about other potential anthrax vaccines and what other nations have purchased BioThrax.