The Department of Health and Human Services has tapped Emergent BioSolutions to further develop a new anthrax vaccine under a 30-month, $31 million contract with funding and technical support from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
HHS said Monday the new vaccine, called 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, ” said 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’s BioThrax vaccine, which is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and stockpiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The department noted that previous tests on NuThrax, which includes 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 by Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS, moves the new vaccine from early development under the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Defense Department to advanced development under BARDA.