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A Spending Priority

Two of the first three BioShield contracts were awarded to manufacturers of anthrax vaccines: VaxGen Inc. of Brisbane, Calif., was awarded $877.5 million for 75 million doses of a vaccine still under study.

BioPort Corp. of Lansing, Mich., was awarded $122.7 million for manufacture and delivery of 5 million doses of Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, a licensed vaccine. A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said negotiations are underway for the purchase of additional vaccine from BioPort.

The BioShield spending is not the only money paying for development of anthrax vaccines.

In 2003, Avecia of Manchester, England, was awarded a $71.3 million contract for clinical trials of an anthrax vaccine, yet to be licensed, and production of 3 million doses. The award was granted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Last fall, LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Bozeman, Mont., was awarded a $4.6 million challenge grant for an intranasal vaccine against anthrax. The award came from the National Institutes of Health.