The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded Pfenex, Inc., a contract to develop an alternative dry formulation delivery method for the company’s recombinant Protective Antigen (rPA)-based anthrax vaccine.
The base award of $2.18 million may be expanded to a total of $22.9 million over the course of the contract if all options are exercised.
Under an existing BARDA contract, Pfenex has successfully developed a novel rPA that is highly immunogenic and protective in animal studies, with a scalable production process and robust yields, anticipated to allow dose and antigen sparing.
Development of a needle-free dry formulation under the new funding is anticipated to create a vaccine stable for long term storage and facilitate ease of administration, overcoming two important logistical constraints of the currently available vaccines.
“Pfenex is pleased to be awarded this contract from NIAID to progress an additional development path for our anthrax vaccine program,” stated Bertrand C. Liang, Pfenex Chief Executive Officer. “We believe this important countermeasure effort can provide a solution to the US government quest to stockpile sufficient vaccine doses to rapidly respond to an anthrax biothreat.”
The NIAID contract (HHSN272201200033C) was managed under Broad Agency Announcement entitled “Vaccine Technologies to Advance Next Generation Anthrax Vaccines” (BAA-NIAID-DMID-NIHAI201010).