CUBRC receives contract for biodefense antibiotics

The Buffalo, New York-based research institution CUBRC was recently awarded a five year contract from the National Institutes of Health to develop biodefense antibiotics.

The contract, which could potentially be worth up to $36 million, includes initial funding of $5.8 million for the development of antibiotics that could be used to treat biological threats like anthrax and bubonic plague, according to

“It’s just big, so it has a significant impact,” Tom McMahon, CUBRC's president and chief executive officer, said, reports.

CUBRC will execute the contract with its partner, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, which holds the patent for a new tetracycline antibiotic used to treat respiratory diseases.

McMahon expects CUBRC’s revenues to reach approximately $36 million this year, close to their 2008 level, before tighter government budgets went into effect and the recession hurt sales figures.

“We’ve certainly stabilized,” McMahon said, reports.

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-New York) has been critical in securing federal funding for CUBRC.

“The research and advanced development that will result from this program will allow [CUBRC] to continue to build capability in this area, which it will use to secure new programs in the future, all while protecting the health of our nation’s war fighters and civilians,” Slaughter said, reports.

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National Institutes of Health

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