Emergent BioSolutions to supply $1 billion of Anthrax vaccine to US Strategic National Stockpile

Maryland based biopharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions Inc has signed a contract to supply the US Government with almost $1 billion worth of anthrax vaccines.

Emergent BioSolutions announced that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is progressing its anthrax preparedness strategy with multiple contracts for the company’s anthrax vaccines.

Emergent has signed a follow-on contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) valued at up to $911 million to supply approximately 29.4 million doses of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) by September 2021. BioThrax is the only anthrax vaccine licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is indicated for both pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis of anthrax disease.

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Anthrax Cow Death on Southern Indiana farm in the USA

Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) has been diagnosed on a beef cattle farm in Southern Indiana, USA.

A veterinarian collected tissue samples for laboratory testing after the animal died unexpectedly. Only a single, mixed‐breed bull died; other animals in the herd have not shown clinical signs.

The infected animal was incinerated on‐site, and the farm was placed under a 30‐day quarantine and observation order by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH). BOAH advised vaccination for all other animals in the herd.

BOAH have stated that the situation does not pose a public health threat. While humans can contract anthrax from animals, the risk is low. Anthrax is not transmitted from person to person. Only people who had direct contact with the infected animal are at any risk of infection, and that risk in this case is believed to be minimal at this time. All of those individuals have been notified and are being followed up with appropriately by health officials.

While anthrax is not an uncommon finding in livestock in Western states, this is unusual for Indiana. BOAH’s historic records do not indicate the last time this disease was found in the state.

SOURCE : Animal Health Advisory notice from Indiana State Board of Animal Health

DATE : 1 December 2016

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