Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) announced today that it was awarded a cooperative agreement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, to further the development of one of Emergent’s advanced anthrax vaccine candidates known as dmPA7909. The novel vaccine candidate is designed to have characteristics that will make it ideal to meet the U.S. government’s needs for an advanced anthrax vaccine such as the potential to confer a rapid immune response following only two doses, long-term stability to enable ambient storage in the Strategic National Stockpile, and the potential to be distributed in a national emergency without the need for cold chain storage conditions.
“We are excited about receiving NIAID funding support for dmPA7909, one of Emergent’s next generation anthrax vaccine candidates in development,” said W. James Jackson, Ph. D., senior vice president and chief scientific officer of Emergent BioSolutions. “We look forward to advancing dmPA7909, along with our other vaccine and therapeutic candidates in our anthrax program, as we continue to support the U.S. government’s approach of funding the development of multiple medical countermeasures against the threat of bioterrorism.”
The anthrax vaccine candidate is composed of the double-mutant recombinant protective antigen (dmPA), which has been genetically engineered for improved stability. dmPA is adsorbed to Alhydrogel®, combined with the immunostimulatory compound CPG 7909 (VaxImmune TM) and formulated as a dry powder. Emergent is employing proven stabilizing technologies for each of the components in the vaccine formulation to seek to maximize vaccine stability even at elevated temperatures and to extend shelf life.
This funding in the amount of $4.9 million over a two-year period provides for manufacturing of clinical lots, non-clinical safety and efficacy studies, and stability studies to demonstrate whether the vaccine candidate can withstand high temperatures up to 37oC.
The cooperative agreement is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was signed into law on February 17 to stimulate the growth and recovery of the U.S. economy.
Emergent BioSolutions Inc.