Maryland company gets Zika vaccine funding - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jul. 1, 2016 8:59 am

Maryland company gets Zika vaccine funding

Emergent BioSolutions could end up producing the vaccine at its Baltimore manufacturing site.
The type of mosquito known to transmit Zika virus, Aedes aegypti.

The type of mosquito known to transmit Zika virus, Aedes aegypti.

(Photo by Flickr user Sanofi Pasteur, used under a Creative Commons license)

As was the case with Ebola, the federal government is eager to jumpstart efforts to find an antidote to Zika.

Emergent BioSolutions was a recipient of funding for such an effort this week when it was awarded a task order from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) that could be valued at up to $21.9 million.

The order, which is the first from BARDA, calls on the Gaithersburg-based company to develop a Zika vaccine using a base provided by the federal agency, and manufacture enough to be used on human trials. According to the Washington Business Journal, some of that production could take place at the company’s Baltimore manufacturing site in Bayview once it scales up.

Due to its recent circulation in Brazil, the mosquito-borne disease is in the headlines due to the upcoming Olympic games in Rio. Publicly-traded Emergent was also among the regional players involved in Ebola vaccine development. At least one other Baltimore company, Pharos Biologicals, is also looking to develop a Zika vaccine.

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