A Gaithersburg’s drug maker announced last week that it had acquired a drug the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved to treat anthrax.
Under the deal, Emergent BioSolutions would pay as much as $20 million in milestone payments and product sales and $76 million cash upfront to GlaxoSmithKline to acquire a drug utilized to treat inhaled anthrax, Raxibacumab. The company already manufactures BioThrax, a vaccine for absorbed anthrax and NuThrax, which is currently in trials.
The deal will further advance Emergent’s efforts to grow its business and portfolio of countermeasures for infectious diseases. A federal contract worth $130 million is included with the drug, which will be manufactured and packaged at the Emergent manufacturing facility on Lombard Street in the very near future. To expand even further in Baltimore, Emergent will extend the processes to its South Paca Street facility beginning in 2020.
Emergent’s manufacturing facility near Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center underwent an $80 million expansion, doubling in size. The expansion will allow the company to mass-produce commercial drugs, which they have never been able to accomplish before.
The federal government has chosen three facilities to receive contracts to make drugs for public health threats, including flu, Zika and Ebola. These manufacturing facilities are part of the Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing.
Emergent’s Lansing, Michigan manufacturing facility produces BioThrax for the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention.
Emergent plans to add 100 workers at its East Baltimore facility by 2020. Its plant at Paca Street will undergo a $30 million expansion in the near future and will add 100 workers over the next five years.