|Bad News Clouds Two Bio Defense Stocks|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Tuesday, 08 December 2009 04:28|
Key news developments will affect shares of these two companies who help meet the critical needs of the United States and its allies by developing and commercializing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical weapons.
The two companies which waited until late after hours on Monday to announce that the Biomedical Research and Development Authority had informed them of some negative news.
After hours on Monday, PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE Amex: PIP) a biodefense company specializing in the development and commercialization of medical countermeasures against chemical and biological threats, announced that the Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has canceled its request for proposal (RFP) for Recombinant Protective Antigen Anthrax Vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile (RFP BARDA 08-15).
In similar news...
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) announced today that it has been advised by the Office of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) that the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of rPA vaccines has been cancelled in favor of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for rPA vaccine development. According to BARDA officials, BARDA took this action after a technical evaluation panel determined that none of the vaccine developers submitting proposals could meet the Project BioShield statutory requirement of having a product ready for licensure within 8 years.
Simultaneously, BARDA issued an amendment to BAA 09-34 to enable companies to submit proposals to obtain development funding for rPA vaccine candidates. The due date for all proposals is February 1, 2010. During a meeting with company officials today, BARDA strongly encouraged Emergent to submit a proposal to this BAA. Emergent intends to submit its proposal by the end of this year.
While the decision by BARDA has no impact on the company’s $400 million procurement contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the manufacture and delivery of 14.5 million doses of BioThrax® into the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). Investors are still likely to react negatively to the news.
After selling dies down, there may be a bounce trade opportunity for EBS followers since the company feels that "BioThrax remains a critical and long-term countermeasure for the US government,” said Fuad El-Hibri, chairman and chief executive officer of Emergent BioSolutions. “In addition, based upon encouragement by the USG, we believe our rPA vaccine is well-positioned to obtain a development contract under this BAA. Our anthrax franchise solidifies Emergent as a leader in the development and supply of anthrax medical countermeasures.”
Disclosure: No Positions