Gaithersburg Company Awarded Contract to Develop Zika Vaccine

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — A biopharmaceutical company based in Gaithersburg has been awarded a contract to develop and manufacture an early-stage Zika vaccine.

Emergent BioSolutions said Monday that the base value of the 30-month contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is $17.9 million and it can be extended to $21.9 million.

The company will develop a base vaccine candidate and will then manufacture it. It expects to have the vaccine candidate ready for clinical trials by the end of the year.

Barbara Solow, the company’s head of research and development, says this is the third time the government has asked them to manufacture a vaccine to meet a public health crisis. The company manufactured Anthrax vaccines in 2002 and worked to fight Ebola in 2012.

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