BARDA continues support of pre- and post-exposure Anthrax vax

Intramuscular injection of an anthrax prophylactic has sustained the attention of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) to the tune of $68 million. New Jersey-based Elusys announced winning the award to develop the humanized and de-immunized monoclonal antibody, Anthim.

The company says Anthim is a preventive both before and after anthrax exposure. In the post-exposure case, treatment must be administered before symptoms show.

The intramuscular injection is another selling feature, since it allows for rapid administration to large numbers of people outside of a medical setting. It's intended to require no trained medical personnel, intravenous bags, sterile mixing or other IV prep, according to a statement.

The new funding supplements a previous contract, totaling up to $143 million over 5 years, for the drug's development for symptomatic patients. Elusys VP Leslie Casey said that one intramuscular dose provided a 92% survival rate during animal testing when the drug was administered 18 hours after exposure to anthrax. "Surviving animals tested negative for anthrax bacteria by study day 14."

- see the Elusys statement