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Emergent Vaccine Boosts Big Profits

[From Ingham County Community News ]
Emergent vaccine boosts big profits

LANSING — Delivery of more than 6 million doses of its Lansing-made anthrax vaccine helped boost Emergent BioSolutions Inc.'s bottom line.

In its first earnings report as a publicly traded company, Rockville, Md.-based Emergent reported it earned $22.8 million, or 99 cents a share, in 2006. That was a 44 percent increase from a profit of $15.8 million, or 77 cents a share, in 2005. Emergent, which went public last year, said revenue grew 17 percent to $152.7 million, up from $130.7 million in 2005.

The BioThrax anthrax vaccine doses were delivered to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Defense Department.
Fuad El-Hibri, Emergent's chairman and chief executive officer, said the company has begun marketing to first responders, including police officers and firefighters, as well as foreign markets to grow its BioThrax sales.

"These additional markets represent important potential areas of operation for diversifying our BioThrax customer base," he said.

The vaccine is the main source of Emergent's revenue, accounting for $148 million in sales, Chief Financial Officer Don Elsey said.

El-Hibri said work on Emergent's new $75 million vaccine manufacturing facility in Lansing is complete, though the building still needs Food and Drug Administration approval before it becomes operational.

The facility will be capable of producing 40 million doses of vaccine a year, El-Hibri said.

Emergent also said that Robert Kramer Sr., president of the local operation, Emergent Biodefense Operations Lansing, is being promoted to executive vice president manufacturing operations.
— Jeremy W. Steele is a reporter for the Lansing State Journal.