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Anthrax Vaccine Supplier Awarded $235 Million Contract With Department Of Defense * * by Danielle

NEWS HEADLINES: Anthrax Vaccine Supplier Awarded $235 Million Contract With Department Of Defense * * by Danielle

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The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Emergent BioSolutions a 5-year, $235.8 million contract to supply the anthrax vaccine BioThrax to military branches.

All branches of the U.S. military will reportedly use the vaccine as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for anthrax disease.

According to Fierce Pharma, the deal guarantees Emergent a purchase minimum of $20.1 million.

The contract reportedly includes a 5-year option to extend the deal to 2033.

“The new contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and led by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense, is comprised of a five-year base agreement ending on September 30, 2028, and an additional five-year option that would extend the contract to September 30, 2033,” Emergent BioSolutions stated in a press release.

“As a part of our mission to protect and enhance lives, Emergent is proud to continue supporting and preparing our nation’s service members who have a high risk of exposure to anthrax bacteria by supplying BioThrax vaccine,” said Paul Williams, senior vice president, products head at Emergent.

“This new contract award is a testament to the importance of Emergent’s medical countermeasures portfolio, and we look forward to delivering on our commitments to the U.S. DoD,” he added.

From Emergent BioSolutions:

BioThrax vaccine is indicated for the active immunization for the prevention of disease caused by Bacillus anthracis in persons 18 through 65 years of age. BioThrax is approved for pre-exposure prophylaxis of disease in persons at high risk of exposure. BioThrax is approved for post-exposure prophylaxis of disease following suspected or confirmed Bacillus anthracis exposure, when administered in conjunction with recommended antibacterial drugs.

The efficacy of BioThrax for post-exposure prophylaxis is based solely on studies in animal models of inhalational anthrax.

Fierce Pharma reports:

Founded in 1998, Emergent has been a long-time supplier of anthrax countermeasures to the U.S. government. Its procurement deals have included a CDC contract worth up to $911 million in 2016, and a $258 million contract modification from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in 2020.

During the pandemic, the drug manufacturer faced high-profile setbacks in its efforts to help make COVID-19 vaccines.

Emergent’s former chief executive, Robert Kramer, who played a key role in the company’s growth, resigned in July. He was replaced on an interim basis by Haywood Miller, the managing director of Berkeley Research Group.

In 1998, the Department of Defense began a mandatory anthrax vaccination program for U.S. forces.

From the CDC:

Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) is the only US FDA-approved vaccine in the United States for prevention of anthrax in humans. In 1999, CDC started the Anthrax Vaccine Research Program (AVRP) to study the safety of the vaccine and to measure it’s ability to provoke an immune response against anthrax.

The first large-scale use of the vaccine to give preexposure protection was in 1991 for US military personnel deployed during the Persian Gulf War. In 1998, the Department of Defense (DoD) began the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP), a mandatory anthrax vaccination program to protect US forces assigned to areas deemed to be at high risk for weaponized B. anthracis attack. Early on, some members of the armed forces expressed concern that the vaccine could have health effects. Facing concerns over both the need to protect military personnel against the threat of biological weapons and the fears about the vaccine, in 1999 the US Congress directed CDC to develop the AVRP to study the safety of the vaccine and its effectiveness.

In the fall of 2001, the intentional release of B. anthracis spores resulted in 5 deaths from inhalation anthrax and the possible exposure of more than 30,000 people. The event confirmed the urgency of the research and demonstrated the need for studies related to the possible postexposure treatment use of the vaccine.

Former Marine Corps Capt. Dale Saran defended service members against the mandatory anthrax vaccination program.

Per The Epoch Times:

About 20 years ago, attorney and former Marine Corps Capt. Dale Saran defended service members involved in a fight against the Pentagon’s mandatory anthrax vaccination program. While Saran lost the case in military court, the case eventually made its way to a federal court, which issued a permanent injunction in 2004, bringing the mandatory anthrax vaccination program to an end.

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