First Smallpox Vaccine Delivered to United States

The first 1 million doses of smallpox vaccine were delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) July 14 press release. The Danish manufacturer, Bavarian Nordic, is expected to deliver another 19 million doses sometime between now and 2013 as part of a BioShield contract administered by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

The modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) or Imvamune is intended for use in people who have weakened immune systems in the event of an emergency, such as a bioterrorism attack.

Bavarian Nordic, awarded the $505 million contract in 2007, is reportedly developing a freeze-dried version of Imvamune, which the company says may have an improved shelf life, reduce storage costs, and simplify transportation logistics.

In other news, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced July 13 a $54 million multiple year contract with Emergent BioDefense Operations Lansing (EBOL), for the domestic development of the anthrax vaccine in the company’s Lansing, Mich. facility. If product is licensed, according to a press release, the manufacturing capacity for anthrax vaccine will increase multifold.

Sources: HHS July 14 press release, Medical Counter Measures July 13 press release


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