GlaxoSmithKline provides U.S. government with anthrax therapy

Sept. 20, 2013 at 1:40 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- GlaxoSmithKline and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the U.S. government, signed a contract for anthrax treatment.

Sheri Mullen, vice president of Immunology & Rare Diseases, U.S. Pharmaceuticals, GSK, said the four-year agreement calls for the provision of its inhalation anthrax treatment, raxibacumab. The U.S. government is purchasing the medicine as a counter measure against a potential bioterrorist attack.

Under the terms of the contract, GSK will provide 60,000 doses of raxibacumab to the U.S. government over four years, at a value of approximately $196 million, Mullen said.

Raxibacumab was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2012 for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with inhalation anthrax due to Bacillus anthracis in combination with appropriate anti-bacterial drugs, and for inhalation anthrax when alternative therapies are not available or are not appropriate, Mullen said.

Anthrax is a rare and lethal disease, caused by a toxin-producing bacterium. Antibiotics target the anthrax bacteria, while raxibacumab offers an additional mechanism of action by blocking the activity of the anthrax toxin, which plays a key role in the progression of the disease, Mullen said.

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