GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) PLC has signed a new four-year contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for the provision of its inhalation anthrax treatment, raxibacumab. The U.S. government is purchasing the medicine as a counter measure against a potential bioterrorist attack.
Under the terms of the new contract, GSK will provide 60,000 doses to the U.S. government over four years, at a value of approximately $196m. This forms part of a broader five-year base contract. Raxibacumab was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2012 for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with inhalation anthrax due to Bacillus anthracis in combination with appropriate antibacterial drugs, and for prophylaxis of inhalation anthrax when alternative therapies are not available or are not appropriate. It has not been approved outside of the United States.
Since 2001 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified anthrax as a Category A biothreat, as it poses a severe threat to public health and safety. Anthrax is one of the most likely agents to be used in a bioterrorist attack as its spores are easily found in nature and can be produced in a lab. It can be released into the environment quietly and remain there for a long time.
“We have been collaborating with BARDA for a number of years and raxibacumab is now an important part of the U.S. government’s emergency counter measures against bioterrorism. Through this agreement, we are proud to be helping protect US citizens against such threats,” said Sheri Mullen, vice president of immunology and rare diseases, U.S. Pharmaceuticals, GSK.
Mary Kerr, global commercial lead for infectious diseases at GSK, said “As a pharmaceutical company we believe we have a responsibility to support governments in protecting their citizens against infectious diseases. This agreement highlights the ongoing successful collaboration between GSK and BARDA and is just one example of our commitment to working with governments globally to fight major public health threats.”
Date: September 19, 2013
Source: GlaxoSmithKline PLC