Issue Date: October 10, 2011
U.S. Funds Biodefense Agents
The U.S. government has announced a blitz of biodefense research funding awards. The largest, to Emergent BioSolutions, is a $1.25 billion contract to supply 45 million doses of BioThrax anthrax vaccine over five years. In the field of anthrax research, the Department of Health & Human Service’s Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) awarded Vaxin a two-year, $14.7 million development contract for adVAV, an anthrax vaccine, and Elusys a two-year, $26.5 million contract to conduct studies on its antitoxin Anthim. Both contracts can be extended. BARDA also awarded a total of $56.3 million for research on acute radiation syndrome treatments to Neumedicines, RxBio, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Araim Pharmaceuticals, and Cellerant Therapeutics. Awards, most for two years, range from $3 million to $17 million. Separately, Nanotherapeutics got an 18-month, $4.8 million BARDA contract to develop NanoDTPA, an orally administered drug to treat radioactive contamination after a radiological attack. The contract can be extended for up to five years. And Xoma will receive $28 million in government funding over five years to develop broad-spectrum antitoxins for the treatment of botulism poisoning.
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