by Dr. Barbara Price
Advances in defense vaccines
Early in March 2008, Pharmathene made two business investments to secure their place as a top provider for CB medical defense products in the US. They bought Avecia's biodefense vaccines business, a UK company, and extended their agreement with GTC Biotherapeutics Inc., to process Protexia®, a pegylated form of recombinant human butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE). rBChE is a potent organophosphate (OP) scavenger being developed for use as a prophylactic and therapeutic against acute OP nerve agent toxicity. Protexia® is produced in the milk of transgenic goats.
How many dollars did the US give to Bioport and Dynport, the companies that evolved from Michigan Biologic Products Institute, the former manufacturer of the US vaccine? That is an obscure amount. In 1998, just after taking over the MBP, Bioport received a $29 million contract from DOD. HHS awarded a $122.7 million contract to BioPort Corporation (currently Emergent BioSolutions) in May, 2005 for 5 million doses of the AVA vaccine. 2006, HHS purchased an additional 5 million doses of AVA at a cost of $120 million. In April 2007, HHS planned to acquire 10.4 million doses of a licensed anthrax vaccine, with an option to purchase up to an additional 8.35 million doses. (This is 28 million doses for about $722 million or just over $25 per dose.)
Avecia's biodefense vaccine line includes a second-generation recombinant Protective Antigen (rPA) anthrax vaccine, a recombinant dual antigen plague vaccine, and a third generation rPA anthrax vaccine program. Both the anthrax and plague vaccines are recombinant vaccines originally developed by Dstl (Defence Science & Technology Laboratory) in the UK. The anthrax vaccine is a recombinant PA, adsorbed on Alhydrogel, and, Avecia, together with Dstl, used Avecia's fermentation expertise and manufacturing capabilities to increase the production up from laboratory scale. In Sept 2003, Avecia, received a $71.3 million contract from NIAID for 3 million doses of a new recombinant anthrax vaccine.
2nd International China BioPharmaceutical Symposium (ICBPS II)
18-21 November 2008,
A preliminary announcement
The China Pharmaceutical Association (CPA) and Battelle Memorial Institute, as Hosts and Sponsors, take pleasure in announcing this second ICBPS.
Beijing, China. Mr. Liu Chunguang, International Affairs Department, CPA, has notified Battelle Memorial Institute's Dr. David Robinson and Dr. Mason Soule that preparations are proceeding rapidly for this second CPA/Battelle ICBPS meeting. This ICBPS is to bring all professionals in the international pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical as well as regulatory communities together to further dialog and coordination/cooperation in these critical areas. Goals and objectives will include to learn each others capabilities and capacities for product development and manufacturing; to learn the technical, scientific, medical and legal aspects of the processes associated with research and development, drug discovery, and developing and bringing biopharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals to market in China and the West. These areas include standards and trade practices, case studies and regulation, as well as distribution and networking, market development internal to and external from China for Chinese and non-Chinese product, bulk product and an exploration of the benefits of having stable supplies of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API).