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Emergent, VaxInnate sign pandemic flu vaccine deal

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Already the go-to company for anthrax vaccines, Emergent BioSolutions ($EBS) will step into the field of rapidly produced pandemic influenza shots. The company snagged the exclusive right to manufacture and sell VaxInnate's flu vaccine, a product Emergent can produce quickly at high yields and low cost.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) established Emergent as a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing in June. That 8-year, $220 million contract helps advance development of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear medical countermeasures and domestic pandemic influenza vaccine, among other things. Emergent's agreement with VaxInnate--for an undisclosed amount--helps the company fulfill that contract.

VaxInnate relies on TLR technology to produce vaccines as soluble biopharmaceutical grade proteins in bacteria. Such vaccines can be developed and manufactured on a large scale and fast--two necessities when a pandemic strikes.

"This transaction, which secures manufacturing rights to a next-generation pandemic influenza vaccine candidate, is a step towards satisfying Emergent's commitment to BARDA as a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing," Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, president and CEO of Emergent, said in a statement. "Our public-private partnership with BARDA, which taps into our core manufacturing capabilities and infrastructure, provides a real opportunity to make significant progress to address the nation's medical countermeasure manufacturing requirements. We look forward to continuing to work with BARDA to achieve that important goal."

A public-private partnership works well for Emergent. In 2011, the company signed on to earn up to $1.25 billion over 5 years for providing 44.8 million doses of its BioThrax anthrax vaccine to the U.S. government. Emergent has a hold on the anthrax vaccine market, with BioThrax bringing in $88 million in the first half of 2012.

- read the release

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