New US contracts cool conflict
15.11.2012 - Despite an ongoing dispute, the US government has signed two new contracts with Danish vaccine developer Bavarian Nordic.
The Danish drugmaker announced the closing of two new contracts with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The contracts were valued at up to US$18.9m for the development of recombinant Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccines.
The NIH contract, valued at up to US$17.9m, supports the advanced development of an MVA-based human vaccine against the viral haemorrhagic fever Marburg. The DHS contract, valued at nearly US$1m, supports the development of an MVA-based animal vaccine against Foot-and-mouth disease. "These new contracts demonstrate the versatility of our MVA platform for infectious disease vaccines and cancer immunotherapeutics," said Anders Hedegaard, President and CEO of Bavarian Nordic A/S.
Bavarian Nordic is currently in an argument with the US government. Denmark's biggest drugmaker accuses its customer not to fulfil the conditions of a 2007 contract worth US$500m. The government had promised to order 20 million doses of a smallpox vaccine that has less side effects than common ones. As Bloomberg noted, the biotech company had said in August that it would have to shed hundreds of jobs and shut down a plant if the U.S. government didn't order more of the vaccine until January.