PharmAthene wins ruling in fight over $78M anthrax contract

PharmAthene announced that it won a brawl with rival Emergent BioSolutions, obtaining a ruling from the Government Accountability Office that allows the developer to keep a $78 million contract to develop a second-generation anthrax vaccine.

Emergent had claimed that PharmAthene had landed the contract in a sole source deal that should have been opened to bidders. Emergent makes BioThrax, the currently available anthrax vaccine, and sells it to government agencies.

"While development activities for SparVax have continued with other funding allocated under the current contract with BARDA, the additional funding provided under the contract modification will support advanced development initiatives for SparVax through 2012," said interim PharmAthene CEO Eric Richman. "We are also concurrently seeking additional funding for SparVax under a Broad Agency Announcement, which if awarded, should enable us to advance SparVax to a stage of procurement consideration for the Strategic National Stockpile."

For its part, Emergent says that it's engaged in its own contract talks with the government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

- read the PharmAthene release
- here's the story from the Wall Street Journal