Pharmathene [PIP] has received a potential 34-month, $78.4 million contract modification from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support continued advanced development of SparVax, a second generation recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccine targeted for future procurement in the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile. The contract is being awarded through the HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. “There is widespread acknowledgement among various government agencies that the United States must develop and stockpile a second generation anthrax vaccine employing modern vaccine technology that offers the potential for improved safety, convenience and enhanced cost effectiveness,” says David Wright, Pharmathene’s president and CEO. Pharmathene also says that it has submitted a white paper in response to a recent Broad Agency Announcement from BARDA to possibly get further funding for SparVax that the company believes will advance development to the point where it will be eligible for consideration for a Project BioShield procurement contract. SparVax is being developed for pre and post-exposure protection against anthrax infection. Pharmathene says that studies show that three doses of SparVax administered over a 56 day period are sufficient to induce protective immunity. The currently licensed vaccine, BioThrax, which is supplied by EmergentBioSolutions [EBS], requires five doses over 18 months.