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GEN News Highlights : Nov 10, 2006

Siga Receives $2.3M from the U.S. Air Force

Agreement includes development against water-related viral agents, including biowarfare pathogens.

Siga Technologies received two contracts from the U.S. Air Force for a total of $2.3 million. A $1.4-million agreement covers the development of counter-measures against potential biowarfare pathogens, the Dengue viruses, and other water-related viral agents. Siga also won a one-year, $900,000 contract to aid the USAF Special Operations Command in its development of specific antiviral agents, focusing on orthopoxvirus targets distinct from the target that is the focus of SIGA-246, the company’s lead smallpox drug.

Dengue fever and Dengue hemorrhagic fever are acute febrile mosquito-borne diseases caused by one of four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flaviviridae. The two diseases affect tens of millions of people worldwide every year and present a biodefense threat in the U.S. Currently, there is no approved drug or vaccine against Dengue, leaving troops vulnerable overseas and in areas affected by flooding, according to Siga.