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GEN News Highlights : Dec 4, 2012

Fraunhofer Center Wins Up to $9.9M for Next-Gen Anthrax Vaccines

Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FhCMB) today said it won a contract from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases worth up to $9.9 million—including a $1.76 million first-year phase—toward developing next-generation anthrax vaccines.

Contract # HHSN272201200034C is designed to support advanced development of candidate vaccine components and technologies that accelerate the body’s immune response following natural or intentional releases of the bacterium that causes anthrax, Bacillus anthracis.

Activities covered by the contract include biomass generation, agro infiltration and protein purification, formulation development and stability, preclinical activities, pre-IND activities, and IND submission, ending with the option to conduct a Phase I clinical trial. Activities will be based on successful completion of previous milestones, and on contract options exercised.

Once clinical trials of the new product are complete, FhCMB said, it will work closely with its commercialization partner iBio to meet the government’s needs by advancing the vaccine.

Swedish-owned Isconova will develop an adjuvant that can be combined with a FhCMB antigen. The combined product “has the potential for an improved vaccine,” Vidadi Yusibov, the Fraunhofer center’s executive director, said in a statement.