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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 6, 2005

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

HHS Awards BioShield Contract for AVA Anthrax Vaccine

The Department of Health and Human Services today awarded a $122.7 million contract to BioPort Corporation of Lansing, Mich. for the manufacture and delivery of 5 million doses of Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), a licensed anthrax vaccine.

This supply of AVA anthrax vaccine, which is being purchased under the Project BioShield program, will be placed in the nation’s Strategic National Stockpile where it will be available for use in the event of a bioterror anthrax incident. Together with the existing stockpile of antibiotics, these medical countermeasures represent a critical component of the President’s strategy for “Biodefense in the 21st Century.”

“We are committed to protecting the nation from the consequences of an anthrax attack,” said Stewart Simonson, HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness. “The BioPort vaccine will add another important medical countermeasure for anthrax to the Strategic National Stockpile.”

Today’s award represents the third contract under Project BioShield, a new program intended to accelerate the development, purchase and availability of medical countermeasures for biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear threats. President Bush introduced Project BioShield in his 2003 State of the Union address. Congress passed the Project BioShield Act of 2004 and the President signed it into law on July 21, 2004.

HHS’ Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, which oversees the research and procurement efforts under the Project BioShield program through its Office of Research and Development Coordination, will manage the AVA anthrax vaccine contract.

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Last revised: May 6, 2005