New Anthrax Vaccine, Advav, with Fewer Doses Is Now in Development

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will fund the development of a new anthrax vaccine and antitoxin.

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has announced its funding of the advanced development of a novel next-generation anthrax vaccine along with a new type of anthrax antitoxin.

The vaccine development contract that was given to Vaxin Inc. of Rockville, MD, equates to $14.7 million over two years with a possible extension of up to four years and $21.7 million. The vaccine being developed could be administered as a spray in the nose and given by non-medical personnel, making administration easier and likely increasing vaccination numbers against the potentially fatal infection.

The agreement allows Vaxin to conduct studies and develop manufacturing processes for the vaccine, AdVAV, in order to test its effectiveness in protecting against anthrax with fewer doses than the currently licensed vaccine. The vaccine being used today requires five doses over 18 months with annual boosters to protect against anthrax. Also, Vaxinwill optimize and validate commercial-scale manufacturing processes for the AdVAV vaccine.

Elusys Theraputics Inc, of Pine Brook, NJ, was awarded the new anthrax antitoxin contract for two years and $26.5 million that can be extended to a total of five years worth up to $68.9 million. The antitoxin medication could be given via conventional injection as opposed to current anthrax antitoxins, which must be administered intravenously. This new development potentially makes medication much easier and faster to administer, especially in the case of an emergency. Like Vaxin, Elusys will conduct studies to test the effectiveness of its medication, Anthim, when administered before or after exposure to anthrax.

BARDA Director Robin Robinson, Ph.D., was optimistic about the new contracts, calling them “promising medical countermeasure candidates.” She added, “through these contracts, we are helping develop new tools to protect the public in an emergency and at the same time helping industry manage the costs of the these products over their life cycle.”

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Novel Anthrax Vaccine and Antitoxin Being Developed with Federal Support [ US Department of Health & Human Services]