Date: November 19, 2009
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: The United States will pay the Danish biotechnology firm Bavarian Nordic as much as $40 million to adopt its smallpox vaccine so that it can be freeze-dried.
The contract, which will fund preclinical and clinical studies on efforts to create a freeze-dried version of Bavarian Nordic’s Imvamune vaccine, will also be used to validate the new freeze-dried manufacturing process.
Freeze-dried vaccines can potentially be kept longer than those in a liquid form that must be frozen for storage, Bavarian Nordic said. The freeze-drying process also allows for the government to overcome the challenges it faces from cold-chain logistics and storage.
The freeze-drying development activities will be researched in tandem with licensure activities for the current liquid form of Imvamune.
While smallpox is no longer found in the world, it has been identified as a top bioterrorism threat.
Thirty-three percent of the funding will go to fund the first year of the project with an option of additional funding if certain pre-determined technical milestones are met.
“We are excited about receiving
yet another contract from the US Government in support for the development of
an advanced freeze-dried version of our Imvamune smallpox vaccine,” Anders
Hedegaard, president and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, said. “It clearly demonstrates
the continued commitment from the U.S. government to support the development of
advanced medical countermeasures and it strengthens our confidence that the
option to procure up to an additional 60 million doses of Imvamune under the
ongoing RFP-3 contract will be exercised” (Bio Prep Watch, 2009).
Pennsylvania Hospitals Given Grant To Fight Bioterror And Pandemics
Date: December 21, 2009
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: Jameson and Ellwood City hospitals in Pennsylvania will receive a $1.6 million grant award to aid them in their fight against bioterrorism and pandemics.
The U.S. Defense Department grant, announced last week by U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, will allow health-surveillance technology to be manufactured and equipped by the ProcessProxy Corporation of Ellwood City for Lawrence County medical providers.
The health-surveillance technology will allow for the detection of bioterrorism and pandemic diseases while also improving patient care.
The Ellwood City Hospital features a 46-bed medical surgical unit, a 6-bed intensive coronary care unit, an 8-bed maternity unit, a 10-bed geriatric psychiatry unit and a 25-bed skilled nursing unit. The Jameson Memorial Hospital features 175 beds.
ProcessProxy’s Terry Rasjasenan told Vindy.com that the funding will create 12 hardware and software engineering jobs in Lawrence County. ProcessProxy is currently located at the offices of Dr. Vaudevan Rajasenan, an Ellwood City cardiologist.
The grant will also aid in the implementation of electronic health-record systems at Jameson and Ellwood City hospitals and medical offices county-wide, allowing data to be shared while treating patients who normally receive care at another facility.Additionally, robotic technology will be manufactured by ProcessProxy in Ellwood City that will be utilized to analyze disease trends and facilitate new disease-prevention strategies (Bio Prep Watch, 2009).