ROCKVILLE, Md. — Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced July 24, 2008, that it has secured two grants totaling more than $4.5 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to fund the continued development of the company’s recombinant botulinum (rBOT) and next-generation anthrax vaccine (NGAV) candidates.
The rBOT grant is for the continued development, over three years, of a serotype A and B recombinant botulinum vaccine. This is the first grant that Emergent BioSolutions has received for its botulinum vaccine program.
The NGAV grant provides funding over a five-year period for animal model development and manufacturing of clinical lots of alternative formulations of a next-generation anthrax vaccine, which may then be tested in a subsequent clinical trial.
Data from a completed Phase I trial indicate that this vaccine candidate may be the most potent anthrax vaccine ever tested in humans with the potential of providing protection with one or two doses. These results indicate that this vaccine is a promising next-generation anthrax vaccine candidate, particularly for possible use for post-exposure prophylaxis.
“We are very pleased that the NIAID, with these grants, has elected to support the continued development of both our rBOT and NGAV candidates,” said Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, president and CEO of Emergent BioSolutions. “These are both important countermeasures that address critical biopreparedness requirements of the U.S. government. Our progress to date on both vaccine candidates has been impressive and we believe that, with continued government support, we will be able to successfully advance these product candidates towards commercialization.”
AV7909, one of Emergent BioSolutions’ next-generation anthrax vaccines, is composed of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) and the immunostimulatory oligodeoxynucleotide compound CPG 7909 (VaxImmune) developed by Coley Pharmaceutical Group. AV7909 has been successfully tested in multiple non-clinical studies and in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial.
Emergent BioSolutions’ recombinant botulinum vaccine is composed of multiple serotypes of botulinum toxin, which have been detoxified through genetic engineering. The active ingredients in the vaccine are produced in E. coli using recombinant technology, and the vaccine formulation includes an aluminum-based adjuvant.
Emergent BioSolutions Inc., formed in 2004, is dedicated to the research, development and manufacture of products that harness the immune system to treat and prevent disease. These include vaccines and related products for prophylactic and therapeutic use against common infectious diseases and biological weapons of mass destruction.