PharmAthene Feels Insecure as Government Gives Contracts to Emergent for Making Anthrax Vaccines

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    As the Annapolis-based biodefense company PharmAthene Inc came at loggerheads with the Department of Health and Human Services, it lodged a case against the Department of Health and Human Services. The biodefense company claimed that the Department of Health was giving the contract to the competitor company Emergent BioSolutions Inc., which was bound to increase competition.

    The officials said that as a demonstration against this act by the PharmAthene Company, a case was filed with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, with the company making claims that the solicitation was worded in such a way that it competition across all boundaries and simply granted an award to the next generation anthrax vaccine by another company that goes by the name Gaithersburg-based Emergent BioSolutions Inc.

    The reason why PharmAthene is so concerned about this is because it has launched a next-generation anthrax vaccine called SparVax, and it had received $195 billion to make that vaccine through its contacts in the federal sector. In this case, its concern was that the award would go to some other company which developed a vaccine while it was them doing the work all along! It is worth mentioning here that a drug was legally approved back in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration from pre-exposure from bacteria that cause anthrax.

    This drug was developed by Emergent’s BioThrax. Emergent announced in June that the government intends to maintain a stockpile of anthrax vaccines that would be able to make the lives of 25 million people safe by acquisition of 29.4 million doses of BioThrax and 27 million doses of the next-generation vaccine, and that is why they have issued these solicitations which has increased the competition between the companies.

    Only last year, a contract of $31 million was given to Emergent by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for NuThrax—a new vaccine which cures in fewer doses—has a much shorter response to immunity and does not have to be stored in refrigerated environment.

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