The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Emergent BioSolutions a five-year, $198.7 million contract to further mature the development of an anthrax vaccine in preparation for a Food and Drug Administration license.
The HHS office of the assistant secretary for preparedness and response’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and Emergent BioSolutions will work to validate the effect of the vaccine candidate NuThrax and verify its safety as part of the contract, HHS said Friday.
“BARDA is sponsoring the development of NuThrax to help better protect our nation from [anthrax], ” said Richard Hatchett, acting director of BARDA.
“This vaccine could provide protection in fewer doses than the anthrax vaccine currently available, potentially producing better health outcomes if it was needed during a public health emergency.”
HHS said two doses of NuThrax administered at an interval of 14 days could trigger a protective immune response against anthrax.
The contract also covers the vaccine’s purchase in the future for the Strategic National Stockpile, which also includes the original formulation called BioThrax.
NuThrax includes the adjuvant CPG 7909 in effort to lessen the number of antigens and doses needed to stimulate the immune system.