The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), has modified its prime contract with Pfenex Inc. and exercised an option within the existing Pfenex contract from July 2010. The prime contract has been extended with increased funding of approximately $8 million to support the development of a next generation rPA-based anthrax vaccine using the Pfēnex Expression Technology platform. The total funding available is approximately $23.9 million over the course of the contract if all options are exercised.
Under the contract Pfenex has demonstrated that a strongly immunogenic, stable and protective form of rPA can be expressed and recovered from the strain of P. fluorescens engineered to produce rPA. The exercise of this option allows for the completion of preclinical studies, implementation of analytical methods and cGMP manufacturing.
“We are pleased with the results and progress provided by Pfenex’s recombinant platform technology to the production of a next generation anthrax vaccine,” said Bertrand C. Liang, chief executive officer. “The exercise of this option and increase in funding by BARDA enables Pfenex and BARDA to continue our successful partnership sharing a common objective to develop an anthrax vaccine with a process capable of achieving the goals of the Strategic National Stockpile for the U. S. Government, including production, shelf life, and administration improvements.”