Struggling VaxGen sells anthrax vaccine to rival

After spending $175 million in an unsuccessful effort to push a new anthrax vaccine into the clinic, VaxGen has sold the program to Emergent BioSolutions for $2 million. VaxGen also stands to earn $8 million in milestones and an unspecified portion of any sales. Emergent, once VaxGen's bitter rival, believes the problems with the vaccine candidate have been sorted out and is a prime contender for a new government contract. VaxGen's vaccine program is also further advanced than any of the experimental vaccine programs Emergent is advancing.

The Washington Post points out that Emergent's competitive position shifted significantly after PharmAthene bought the rights to a next-gen anthrax vaccine developed by Avecia, making it a contender for a government contract to supply 25 million doses.

The deal for just pennies on its research dollar marks another bitter turn for VaxGen, which is now being operated by a skeleton crew in the wake of a failed merger. Last month VaxGen axed 75 percent of its remaining 22 workers.

- here's VaxGen's release on the deal
- read the article in the Washington Post

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