HHS orders 18 million doses of anthrax vaccine

first_img Besides the shelf-life bonus, the contract also provides for bonuses if the company makes progress toward winning regulatory approval for using the vaccine to help protect people after possible exposure to anthrax (postexposure prophylaxis, or PEP). The vaccine is currently approved only for preexposure use. Sep 26 Emergent BioSolutions news releasehttp://investors.emergentbiosolutions.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=202582&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1055689 The contract also includes $2.2 million to cover shipping costs for delivering doses to the national stockpile, the company said. HHS has a goal of acquiring a next-generation anthrax vaccine that would require fewer doses and cause fewer side effects. In 2004 the agency awarded an $877 million contract to VaxGen Inc., based in Brisbane, Calif., for 75 million doses of a vaccine based on a recombinant form of an anthrax protein called protective antigen. But last December HHS canceled the contract after problems with the vaccine’s stability caused VaxGen to miss a deadline for starting a phase 2 clinical trial. Under the contract, HHS also promises to pay Emergent up to $11.5 million for achieving certain steps toward winning a PEP indication for the vaccine, the company said. Officials said they expect to receive $8.8 million of that by the end of this year. Sep 26, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The federal government has awarded a $400 million contract to Emergent BioSolutions for another 18.75 million doses of anthrax vaccine, with a bonus to be paid if the company wins approval for extending the vaccine’s shelf life. Funds for the anthrax vaccine come from Project BioShield, a $5.6 billion program that Congress established in 2004 to promote development of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons by guaranteeing that the government would buy promising products. Sep 26 HHS news releasehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2007pres/09/20070926a.html “HHS expects to issue a new rPA anthrax Vaccine Request for Proposals within the next month or so,” Wolfson added. HHS officials said in a statement today, “Today’s acquisition, in addition to the current stockpile of anthrax vaccine, will allow HHS to maintain a stockpile of at least 10 million doses of anthrax vaccine through 2011. In addition, HHS has two current contracts for the acquisition of anthrax antitoxins, to treat individuals with advanced anthrax disease.” See also: center_img Emergent BioSolutions, based in Gaithersburg, Md., previously sold a total of 10 million doses of AVA to HHS under contracts awarded in May 2005 and May 2006, according to a company news release. The 3-year contract for BioThrax vaccine, also known as Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), is worth up to $448 million, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The vaccine will go into the Strategic National Stockpile of drugs and medical supplies for civilian use. HHS still aims to acquire 75 million doses of a new anthrax vaccine, or enough to immunize 25 million people, Wolfson told CIDRAP News by e-mail. He said the agency published a request for information from industry on a recombinant protective antigen (rPA) vaccine in May. The vaccine has an official 3-year shelf life, but the company applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year to extend the shelf life to 4 years, the company said. If the FDA approves the application before the new contract expires in September 2010, the company will receive about $34 million to reflect an increase in the vaccine price. The company won’t get any of the money if the FDA doesn’t approve the change before the contract expires. The stockpile contains enough antibiotics to treat 40 million people for anthrax, according to Marc Wolfson, a spokesman for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. AVA, developed in the 1950s, is the only anthrax vaccine licensed in the United States. It requires six doses, with an annual booster recommended thereafter. More than 1.6 US military personnel have received the vaccine since 1998, but some have protested or refused the vaccine because of concern about side effects. In announcing the purchase, Rear Adm. Craig Vanderwagen, MD, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response, said, “Together with the already substantial supply of antibiotics, our nation’s first line of defense against an anthrax attack, this additional AVA anthrax vaccine will further broaden the stockpile’s medical countermeasures.” But major biotechnology companies showed little interest in the program. As a result, last December Congress passed a bill designed to strengthen the program. The bill established the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within HHS, which can pay contractors when they achieve development milestones, instead of requiring them deliver finished products before they can get paid. Dec 20, 2006, CIDRAP News story “HHS cancels VaxGen anthrax vaccine contract”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/anthrax/news/dec2006vaxgen.htmllast_img read more

Volleyball splits weekend games against Pac-12 foes

first_imgFreshman setter Raquel Lázaro has tallied 636 assists in the 2018 season. She has also slated 137 digs so far. (Emily Smith | Daily Trojan)The women’s volleyball team returned from its weekend on the road with one win, losing in three straight sets to No. 2 Stanford on Friday and squeezing out a four-set victory over Cal on Sunday. The bout against Stanford proved to be a tough one for the Trojans, who had been riding a five-game win streak coming into the match. Their opponents, armed with bigger players, more consistent passing percentages and a dominant frontline, rebutted by handing USC its fifth consecutive Stanford loss. The Women of Troy put up an outstanding effort in the first and second sets, tying their opponents 12 times with a hard serving game. On multiple occasions, Stanford pulled ahead by stringing together 4 to 5 consecutive points. “Almost every match is a serve and pass match. You need to win the serve and pass battle to have a chance, especially against a team as big and physical as Stanford … it was the same deal with BYU,” head coach Brent Crouch said. “When you have a 6-foot, 6-foot-1-inch blocker facing an even taller hitter that can jump, it’s always an uphill battle.” Stanford junior Kathryn Plummer, an outside hitter who stands at 6-foot-5 and was voted the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Year in 2017, was a tough obstacle. Crouch said he holds a high amount of respect for Plummer and expressed confidence in her ability to snatch the title again this year. “[Plummer] is a great server, a great blocker and a next-level hitter,” Crouch said. “I haven’t seen anybody in the same galaxy as her this year. Not even close.” Plummer contributed a total of nine digs and 18 kills, including the game ending spike. On the other hand, the Trojans’ three outside hitters — juniors Emily Baptista and Khalia Lanier and sophomore Brooke Botkin — had an uncharacteristically quiet match; none broke into the double digits for kills. Meanwhile, freshman setter Raquel Lázaro and senior libero Victoria Garrick combined for a total of 16 digs and 30 assists. The Women of Troy fared much better against Cal. The Golden Bears took the first set, due to a flat Trojan defense and Berkeley’s sophomore outside hitter Mima Merkovich. USC claimed the next two frames thanks to Lanier, who had 26 total kills. Five were earned in succession, which quickly turned the third set in USC’s favor. Garrick and Lázaro continued to impress by leading the game in digs (18 and 17, respectively). The freshman setter was even able to pick up 52 assists, marking her seventh season double-double. The Trojans lost their momentum again in the initial stages of the fourth, nearly losing the set twice. Crouch noted one of many shifts in Cal’s game plan, which involved setting more to the right in order to increase pressure on Lanier and Botkin. “We did not handle that well,” Crouch said. “Our hitters on both sides need to do a much better job in those situations and it’s something we’ll look at during practice.” USC’s match points were also heavily contested. During her third attempt, Botkin landed her 20th kill of the match to end it all. USC now boasts seven back-to-back wins against Cal. The Trojans will return to Galen Center for the next four matches of the season. Garrick, who assembled a commendable weekend performance, is eager to put on a show for the home crowd. However, she acknowledges that the team must mitigate certain weaknesses in order to do well against high-caliber teams. “It comes down to being gritty and doing anything to keep that ball off the ground,” Garrick said. “But in general, I’m excited for us to get back in the gym this week.” USC will face off against Oregon State on Thursday and Oregon on Sunday.last_img read more