While San Diego-based Pfenex's primary focus isn't on vaccines, the company gained a big backer in the space Monday with the announcement that the U.S. government has agreed to work with the biotech on its anthrax vaccine candidate for bioterror protection.
In a $31 million development agreement with Emergent BioSolutions announced Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services said it will fund Phase III development for NuThrax, Emergent's new anthrax vaccine that's already been funded through Phase I and II by the NIH and the Department of Defense.
Theraclone Sciences has struck a deal to merge its antibody development efforts with biodefense drug developer PharmAthene. Once the merger is complete, Theraclone CEO Clifford Stocks will head the expanded company as PharmAthene CEO Eric Richman takes a spot on the board.
In 2011 the U.S. government ran a war game to simulate how a San Francisco-sized city would cope with an anthrax attack by terrorists.
Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology could receive up to $9.9 million in funding from NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop the next generation of anthrax vaccines.
The U.S. government doled out a contract worth £4 million ($6.4 million) to the U.K.'s Health Protection Agency to develop a next-generation anthrax vaccine. The project will be valued at £14 million ($22.6 million) if all milestones are met.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), dismissed a biotech industry proposal for using government bonds rather than contracts to fund projects to advance vaccines and other meds for conditions resulting from bioterrorism, Bloomberg reported.
Scientists from the U.K.'s Cardiff University are leading a NATO project to develop an anthrax vaccine.
In a post-9/11 world, fears over pandemics and bioterrorism have renewed drug and vaccine development in the public sector, as national governments funnel research toward combating infectious diseases, like anthrax.
The FDA froze biodefense company PharmAthene's anthrax vaccine, SparVax rPA, sending shares tumbling 17% to $1.21 in recent premarket trading, The Wall Street Journal reports.