Emergent BioSolutions seeks to expand BioThrax manufacturing capacity

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., a Rockville, Maryland-based specialty pharmaceutical company, announced on Tuesday that it was working with the U.S. government to expand its manufacturing capacity for BioThrax, Emergent's anthrax vaccine.

Daniel Abdun-Nabi, the president and CEO of Emergent, made the remarks on Tuesday during the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. BioThrax is the only vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of anthrax disease. Emergent supplies BioThrax to the U.S. government as part of a five-year contract worth approximately $1.25 billion, Seeking Alpha reports.

Abdun-Nabi said Emergent is working with the U.S. to significantly expand its manufacturing capacity to help the U.S. reach a goal of having 75 million doses of an anthrax vaccine in the Strategic National Stockpile.

"We are currently capacity constrained at seven million to nine million doses per year," Abdun-Nabi said, according to Seeking Alpha. "With our Building 55 initiative underway with the government, we are targeting getting to a capacity of 20 million to 25 million doses per year."

Abdun-Nabi said the U.S. currently has less than 30 million doses of anthrax vaccine in its stockpile. He said the manufacturing expansion project to triple Emergent's manufacturing capacity would take between 18 and 24 months to install, validate and become operational.

Abdun-Nabi also said that after the expansion is complete, the company could double its capacity to between 40 million and 50 million doses of BioThrax, Seeking Alpha reports.