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Emergent Biosolutions, Novartis, Texas A&M to Lead New Biodefense Centers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week awarded major contracts to establish three new “Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing.”  The centers will facilitate advanced development of medical countermeasures, and ensure vaccine manufacturing surge capacity for public health emergencies such as pandemic influenza outbreaks.

The awards are being executed under a unique private-public partnership model in which each center will be run by a consortium led by an organization experienced in developing or manufacturing medical countermeasures. Each consortium will retrofit existing facilities or build new ones to incorporate flexible, innovative manufacturing platforms that can be used to manufacture more than one product.

Emergent BioSolutions, with manufacturing facilities in Baltimore and Gaithersburg, Md., will lead one center, working with a network of partners including the University of Maryland, Michigan State University, and Kettering University. This contract is for approximately $163M over the first eight years.

Texas A&M will lead a second center in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Lonza, and Kalon Biotherapeutics. This contract is valued at $176M over the first five years.

A third center will be led by Novartis, leveraging existing public-private investments by HHS in their state-of-the-art vaccine facilities in Holly Springs, N.C. Novartis will partner with  North Carolina State University and Duke University for the contract, valued at approximately $60 million over the first four years.

The centers are expected to become fully operational within 2-3 years. The private partners will provide approximately 35 percent of the total cost of the initial building phase. HHS will support the cost of operation and maintenance of the centers in subsequent years.

“Establishing these centers represents a dramatic step forward in ensuring that the United States can produce life-saving countermeasures quickly and nimbly,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “They will improve our ability to protect Americans’ health in an emergency and help fill gaps in preparedness so that our nation can respond to known or unknown threats.”

The awards are overseen by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and each contract can be renewed for up to 25 years. The contracts were executed under Solicitation Number: 11-100-SOL-00011.

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