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PharmAthene bids for big anthrax vaccine contract

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PharmAthene is making a bid to develop a next-gen anthrax vaccine that can qualify for a $400 million government contract. The small Maryland developer is paying up to $40 million for a pair of vaccines from the UK's Avecia Biologics, including an experimental anthrax vaccine. PharmAthene senior vice president Eric Richman tells the Washington Post that the company believes that it has the clinical know-how to work with nearby government officials who are seeking a new vaccine.

PharmAthene is heading into dangerous waters. VaxGen tried and failed to get the government contract for a new anthrax vaccine, with disastrous consequences. But rich rewards await a successful effort. The U.S. government is anxious to stockpile a new vaccine to replace the aging vaccine it buys from Emergent BioSolutions, also based in Maryland. The older vaccine requires six doses and the government wants a new therapy that involves fewer jabs.

- here's the release
- read the article from the Washington Post

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