Leidos Holdings has awarded Pfenex a subcontract to support the development of an anthrax vaccine containing its recombinant protective antigen (rPA) and a novel, immune-enhancing adjuvant. The main contract was awarded to Leidos by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to improve the efficacy of both anthrax and West Nile virus vaccines.
Pfenex will provide its rPA, which will be evaluated in various formulations with a selected adjuvant to optimize immune responses against anthrax. This is the third government contract awarded to Pfenex for the use of its Pfenex Expression Technology.
“We are pleased to be awarded this contract as we expand our pipeline of rPA-based vaccine candidates in an effort to develop an optimal anthrax vaccine,” said Bertrand C. Liang, Pfenex’s chief executive officer. “Pfenex Expression Technology has once again demonstrated its ability to efficiently produce high-value antigens and advance the development of next generation biodefense vaccines.”