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Jul 22, 2009

Human Genome Sciences Receives $151M Order for Anthrax Drug from U.S. Government

  • The U.S. Government exercised its option to purchase an additional 45,000 doses of raxibacumab (ABthrax™) from Human Genome Sciences (HGS) for the strategic national stockpile. It will be delivered over a three-year period, beginning toward the end of 2009, and HGS will receive about $151 million as deliveries are completed.

    In April of this year HGS delivered the first 20,000 doses of raxibacumab for emergency use and recognized $153.8 million in related revenue during the first quarter. The company will recognize at least $8 million during the second quarter due to this second order.

    Raxibacumab is under receive priority review at the FDA, and HGS will receive $10 million upon FDA approval. The compound targets anthrax toxins after they are released by the bacteria into the blood and tissues. It is being developed under a contract entered into in 2006 with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

    “It has taken HGS nearly seven years of work, much of it in close partnership with BARDA, to reach the point where we have successfully delivered raxibacumab to the stockpile and secured this second purchase order,” remarks James H. Davis, Ph.D., evp and general counsel, HGS, and leader of the company's raxibacumab program with the U.S. Government.

    HGS reported two days ago that one of its lead candidates, Benlysta, met its primary endpoint in the first of two Phase III trials. The company’s stock has shot up over 300% in the first two trading days since this news.

    The firm’s other lead candidate, Albuferon, has also successfully completed Phase III development in hepatitis C, and filing of global marketing applications is expected during the fall.



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