Firm will sell two sites in Frederick, MD, and aims to buy a newer production plant and a lab in Maryland.

Emergent BioSolutions is selling two old facilities in Frederick, MD, and will use the proceeds to buy a manufacturing site and a lab in Maryland. This exchange should be cash positive as well as reduce the total debt, annual interest, and operating expenses, according to the firm.

The Frederick facilities, consisting of two 145,000-sq-ft buildings, were acquired in 2004 and 2006. Emergent says that the cost involved in building one of the sites to required production specs would be higher than the purchase price of the new manufacturing site. The new plant will include several suites suitable for cGMP manufacturing of multiple products as well as space for process development and administrative functions.

The company will thus be able to offer the U.S. government another site where recombinant protective antigen (rPA) anthrax vaccine, which is under Phase II development, can be produced. It also frees up building 55 in Lansing, MI, for BioThrax® scale-up; BioThrax is the only vaccine licensed by the FDA for the prevention of anthrax disease.

Emergent says that it is still in negotiations to purchase a laboratory in Gaithersburg, MD. It includes space for product development, process development, assay development, and administrative functions. Emergent’s development pipeline includes an anthrax IG therapy in pivotal studies, Phase II programs with rPA, tuberculosis, and typhoid vaccines, as well as a mid-stage hepatitis B therapeutic study. The company is conducting preclinical investigations on botulism and chlamydia vaccines as well as an anthrax mAb therapeutic.

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