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U.S. Issues $55M in Biodefense Contracts

“The ‘pipeline’ of candidate bioterror countermeasures is fuller than ever, which bodes well for our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from those who would do us harm with biological weapons.”

http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/2007_10_11.html#5BA9FCC0
U.S. Issues $55M in Biodefense Contracts

Four U.S. firms have received a total of $55.3 million from the Health and Human Services Department to prepare countermeasures against anthrax, plague and tularemia, the agency announced last week (see GSN, Oct. 4).

The funding is coming through the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a new office intended to coordinate research and development of emergency medical countermeasures (see GSN, April 27).

“These contracts will help speed the development of new interventions against anthrax, plague and tularemia, three diseases considered to be important bioterror threats,” said NIAID chief Anthony Fauci in a press release. “The ‘pipeline’ of candidate bioterror countermeasures is fuller than ever, which bodes well for our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from those who would do us harm with biological weapons.”

Nanotherapeutics Inc. of Alachua, Fla., received $20 million to develop antibiotics for plague and tularemia, while PharmAthene Inc. of Annapolis, Md., received $13.9 to develop an anthrax antitoxin. Two previously reported contracts provided Emergent BioSolutions Inc. of Rockville, Md., with $9.5 million for development of an anthrax immune globulin and Elusys Therapeutics Inc. of Pine Brook, N.J., with $11.9 million for anthrax antitoxin development (U.S. Health and Human Services Department release, Oct. 5).

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