BARDA exercises contract option for Emergent BioSolutions' anthrax vaccine

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., a Rockville, Maryland-based vaccine developer and manufacturer, announced on Thursday that the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority has exercised a contract option to further development of the company's anthrax vaccine candidate.

PreviThrax, a recombinant and purified protective antigen anthrax vaccine, is the company's rPA anthrax vaccine candidate. After an inter-agency in process review, BARDA exercised the option as part of Emergent's rPA development contract that was initially executed in October 2010.

"Emergent is pleased that PreviThrax, our rPA vaccine candidate, has met all of the key milestones necessary for BARDA to exercise the contract option," Adam Havey, the executive vice president of Emergent BioSolutions, said. "We look forward to continuing to work with BARDA to develop the medical countermeasures it believes are necessary to address the nation's security requirements."

Emergent has reached several milestones with PreviThrax since it signed the contract. The progress includes increasing the manufacturing yield by more than fourfold, completing multiple analytical method validations, demonstrating stability at elevated temperatures, demonstrating stability for both liquid and dry formulations, transferring the manufacturing process to the company's manufacturing facility in Baltimore, and transferring the manufacturing process to single-use bioreactors for flexible manufacturing.

PreviThrax is based on pioneering work performed by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. The candidate previously received National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funding.