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Jan 1, 2009

Heftiest Government Contracts of 2008

  • Even though an academic consortium scored the largest federal commitment, industry grabbed more government cash. While this roundup details the top-five drug R&D contracts, Acambis won the biggest contract this year but for the manufacture and supply of small pox vaccines. The CDC committed to pay $425 million initially with the possibility of paying another $660 million for additional purchases.

    A consortium of nine institutes will receive roughly $280 million to identify small molecules that can be used to investigate cell functions. The group, called Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network, will scan more than 300,000 compounds over the next four years.

    Osiris Therapeutics and Genzyme begin the industry lineup, signing a $224.7 million deal with the DoD. The firms are tasked with developing and stockpiling Prochymal, an adult stem cell therapy, for the repair of gastrointestinal injury resulting from radiation exposure. They initially received $4.2 million and the rest will come upon the purchase of up to 20,000 doses.

    Next up is DynPort Vaccine and Quintiles Transnational with a $32.3 million contract from the NIAID. The firms will determine pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties for up to four investigational NIAID therapeutics per year for a seven-year period.

    NIAID contracts worth $83.9 million to PharmAthene and $29.7 million to Emergent BioSolutions landed them the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. The money was granted to help each firm further its anthrax vaccines. Emergent BioSolutions’ candidate has undergone preclinical testing and one clinical study.

    PharmAthene will receive $13.2 million upfront to conduct preclinical studies for a third-generation recombinant protective antigen (rPA) anthrax vaccine during a base period of performance. The rest of the money will come through contract extensions and milestone achievements.

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