TheÂ Department of Health and Human ServicesÂ has tapped Emergent BioSolutions to further develop a new anthrax vaccine under a 30-month, $31 million contract with funding and technicalÂ support from theÂ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
HHS said Monday the new vaccine, calledÂ NuThrax, will work to improve on the existing licensed vaccine as the agency seeks to reduce number of needed doses to deliver protection against anthrax.
“Anthrax remains a national health security threat, and we’re striving to develop an anthrax vaccine that affords immunity sooner and with fewer doses, ” saidÂ BARDA Director Robin Robinson.
“If it works, this vaccine may help achieve better preparedness at a lower cost.”
According to HHS, NuThrax is a modification of Emergent’sÂ BioThrax vaccine, which is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and stockpiled by theÂ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The department noted thatÂ previous tests onÂ NuThrax, whichÂ includesÂ CPG 7909 to further stimulate the immune system, indicated that only two doses are needed compared to BioThrax’s three doses.
The new agreement with Emergent announced byÂ Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS, moves the new vaccine from early development under theÂ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Defense DepartmentÂ to advanced development under BARDA.