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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Oct. 5, 2007

Media Contact:
HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

HHS Awards Contracts for Advanced Development of New Medical Countermeasures

Four Contracts Focus On Antitoxins, Therapeutics and Antibiotics

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the award of contracts totaling $55.3 million to four companies for the advanced development of anthrax antitoxins, therapeutics and antibiotics for use against plague and tularemia.

The new Biological Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and NIH’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), provided funding for the new contracts. Through an agreement with BARDA, NIAID will manage the contracts.

“Advanced development of medical countermeasures is a key aspect of BARDA’s mission,” said Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response RADM Craig Vanderwagen, M.D., USPHS. “This multi-agency cooperation is a milestone achievement that demonstrates to the biotech industry our department’s commitment to developing medical countermeasures to enhance the nation’s public health preparedness in the years to come.”

The companies receiving contracts are

  • Nanotherapeutics Inc. of Alachua, Fla.—$20 million for a plague and tularemia antibiotic development
  • Emergent BioSolutions Inc. of Rockville, Md.—$9.5 million for anthrax immune globulin development
  • PharmAthene Inc. of Annapolis, Md.—$13.9 million for anthrax antitoxin development
  • Elusys Therapeutics Inc. of Pine Brook, N.J.—$11.9 million for anthrax antitoxin development

“These contracts will help speed the development of new interventions against anthrax, plague and tularemia, three diseases considered to be important bioterror threats,” said NIAID Director, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci. “The 'pipeline' of candidate bioterror countermeasures is fuller than ever, which bodes well for our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from those who would do us harm with biological weapons.”

The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act of 2007 directed HHS to establish the BARDA office and authorized the funding of advanced development of medical countermeasures. BARDA coordinates interagency efforts to define and prioritize requirements for public health medical emergency countermeasures, related research, and product development and procurement. BARDA also has responsibility for setting deployment and use strategies for medical countermeasures held in the Strategic National Stockpile.

For more information on BARDA’s medical countermeasure programs, please visit www.medicalcountermeasures.gov. NIAID’s biodefense program information is also available online at Biodefense.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.


NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at www.niaid.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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Last Updated October 05, 2007