« Home | KU Med researchers share anthrax discovery » | U.S. Could Owe Millions for Anthrax Mailings » | What the FBI Knows: For Bruce Ivins and for us » | HHS evaluates proposals for new anthrax vaccine » | What If the FBI Is Right » | Our own worst bioenemy » | Ivins would benefit how? » | Clashing portraits emerge of anthrax suspect » | Bombshell: Was FBI complicit in Ivins' death? » | NAS report shows psychiatric illness increases 7 f... »

Emergent BioSolutions wins $24.3M to fight anthrax

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 5:03 PM EDT
Emergent BioSolutions wins $24.3M to fight anthrax
Washington Business Journal - by Mara Lee Staff Reporter


Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has won a contract worth $24.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to research an experimental drug to fight anthrax.

Rockville-based Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS), already has Federal Drug Administration-approved vaccine that prevents anthrax infection called BioThrax.

The bulk of the money, $20 million, would be used to complete the first phase of human testing for the antibody-based drug, which is designed to treat people who have already been exposed to anthrax.

It has been tested in mice, rats and rabbits, and now must be tested in humans, first to see if it is safe, and then to see if it works. The grant will only underwrite the first phase of that testing, though it will also cover costs from making more of the drug for the trials.

“We believe this funding from HHS underscores the U.S. government’s commitment to a multi-prong approach in responding to the threat of bioterrorism in our country,” the company said in a statement.

Emergent did not invent this particular antibody approach — it bought the rights to the experimental drug from Avanir Pharmaceuticals in March 2008.