Emergent BioSolutions

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Emergent BioSolutions Inc.
Public company
Traded asNYSEEBS
S&P 600 Component
HeadquartersGaithersburg, Maryland, US
Key people
Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi (CEO)
Fuad El-Hibri (Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors)
RevenueIncrease US $782.42 million (2018)
Increase US $42.8 million (2014)
Increase US $53–$55 million (2014)
WebsiteOfficial website
Footnotes / references

Emergent BioSolutions is a multinational specialty biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.[9] It develops vaccines and antibody therapeutics for infectious diseases, oncology and autoimmune disorders, and provides medical devices for biodefense purposes.

Among the company's notable products is BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed), the only anthrax vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company also manufactures pharmaceuticals for adults and children with acute blood disorders, people undergoing certain liver transplants, palliative care for chemo or radiation therapy patients, hemophilia B and a varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine for high risk patients.

The company has two divisions: a Biodefense division for medical countermeasures and a Biosciences division to treat infectious disease, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.[10]

Fuad El-Hibri, the founder of the company and former CEO,[11] led the company since its founding as BioPort Inc.[10][12] until his retirement on April 1, 2012.[13][14] El-Hibri continues to serve as the executive chairman of Emergent BioSolutions’ board of directors.[15]


Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed
Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, BioThrax was first made available in 1970.[16] BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed), a vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.[17] Following a study by scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,[18] on December 19, 2008, Emergent received final FDA licensing for use of BioThrax five doses for intramuscular injection.[19] Later in 2009, Emergent received approval from the FDA to extend the shelf life of its anthrax vaccine from three to four years. BioThrax was approved for distribution in the United States.[20][not in citation given] BioThrax has received marketing approval in India, Singapore, and Germany.[21][22][23]

The FDA gave BioThrax an "orphan drug" designation in April 2014.[24] The FDA gives that status to drugs that are used to treat rare diseases.[24] BioThrax is the only anthrax vaccine licensed by the FDA.[24]

As of April 2014, Emergent has sold over 66 million doses of BioThrax to the U.S. government.[25] Three million U.S. military personnel have received the BioThrax vaccine.[25]

The main buyer of BioThrax is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[26] The CDC buys BioThrax for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).[26] The government uses the SNS to protect the public in the event of a national emergency like a terrorist attack.[26] As of December 2016, Emergent has a $911 million contract with the CDC for BioThrax. The BioThrax vaccines will go to the SNS. The contract will supply around 29.4 million doses of the vaccine. Additionally, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) released a notice of intent to purchase around $100 million of BioThrax for the SNS in 2017.[27]

Emergent submitted an application to the FDA for use of a large facility in Lansing, Michigan to produce BioThrax. On June 21, 2016, Emergent announced that it had moved a step forward in the process: the FDA completed the pre-approval phase of its inspection.[28]

Company history[edit]

Acquisition history
  • 2003 (2003): Antex Biologics, Inc.[29]
  • 2005 (2005): Microscience Ltd.[30]
  • 2006 (2006): Vivacs GmbH[31]
  • 2008 (2008): A group of anthrax monoclonal antibodies from Avanir Pharmaceuticals[32]
  • 2008 (2008): Anthrax vaccine program, patents and processes from VaxGen[33][34]
  • 2010 (2010): Trubion Pharmaceuticals[35]
  • 2013 (2013): Healthcare Protective Products Division of Bracco Diagnostics Inc., which includes RSDL decontamination lotion[36][37]
  • 2014 (2014): Cangene Corporation[38][39]

Emergent BioSolutions was founded on September 5, 1998, under the name BioPort, and renamed Emergent BioSolutions in 2004.[40] At the time, the Michigan Department of Public Health, though its Michigan Biologics Products Institute, owned an anthrax vaccine manufacturing facility in Lansing, Michigan. BioPort purchased the facility and the rights to manufacture the vaccine for the U.S. military.[41][42]

After the 2001 anthrax attacks following the terrorist attacks on September 11, BioPort worked with the U.S. government to supply anthrax countermeasures.[43]

Emergent became a publicly traded company in 2006, with its stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EBS.[43]

In June 2012, Emergent, along with Novartis and the Texas A&M University System was selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one of the three Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. The public-private partnership granted Emergent $163 million over eight years to assist in the development of countermeasures for health, nuclear and radiological epidemics.[44] The purpose is to produce medical countermeasures in the event of a national pandemic.[45] Emergent's facility is located in Maryland and the company expects the site to be operational by the year 2020.[45]

On June 27, 2016, the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority contracted with Emergent Biosolutions to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. The contract is spread out over 30 months and is worth around $22 million.[46][47] The vaccine could reach stage-one clinical trials by early 2017.[48] As of the end of June 2016, 60 countries and territories had reported transmission of the Zika virus from mosquitoes.[47] Emergent could become the first company to develop a vaccine for the virus.[46]

In December 2016, Health Canada approved the purchase of Emergent's new botulism antitoxin called Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (BAT). The CDC and Public Health Agency of Canada both identified botulism, a type of food poisoning, as a likely biological threat. Emergent already has a ten-year contract with the Canadian military and national health service to supply BAT that began in 2012. Emergent also provides BAT to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.[49] BAT was first licensed in the U.S. in 2013 and is the only botulism antitoxin available in the U.S. for naturally-occurring cases of non-infant botulism.[50]

On March 31, 2017, Emergent said it signed a modification to its contract with BARDA to "manufacture and store bulk drug substance for its botulism antitoxin, BAT."[51] The contract is valued at approximately $53 million for five years. The contract modification was technical in nature; it allows Emergent to file and deliver the final drug product to the Strategic National Stockpile in the future.[51]

Soligenix Inc. and Emergent agreed to establish a “commercially viable production technology” for the development of RiVax, a potential vaccine aimed to protect against ricin exposure. Currently, there are no treatments for ricin poisoning that have been proven effective. Soligenix is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the development of treatments for rare diseases. A product of castor oil production, the ricin toxin can be a useful biological weapon due to its extreme potency, stability, and accessibility. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded the development of RiVax costing an estimated $24.7 million. The organization also financially backed the contract between Emergent and Soligenix. Most of the work will be conducted in Baltimore, Maryland, at Emergent’s manufacturing facility.[52]

In 2017, the company purchased the ACAM2000 (smallpox vaccinia) Vaccine, the only FDA-licensed for active immunization against smallpox for those at a medical high risk of contracting the disease, from Sanofi Pasteur.[53]

In 2018, Emergent acquired Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of Narcan (naloxone), a widely-used nasal spray opioid-overdose antidote, for $735 million. Adapt is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and operates from Radnor, PA.[54]

Emergent is a member of the Alliance for Biosecurity, a group of companies and organizations that work towards improving the ability to respond to biological threats with vaccines and other countermeasures.[55][56]


The current president and CEO of Emergent Biosolutions is Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi. He has held the position since April 1, 2012.[57] Prior to that, he was the president and chief operating officer. He holds an M.L.T. from Georgetown University, J.D. from the University of San Diego, and B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.[58]

R&D and manufacturing operations[edit]

In addition to the anthrax vaccine, Emergent BioSolutions develops and manufactures vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention or treatment of several diseases.[59] One of Emergent's medical countermeasure products is RSDL, a lotion that clears and neutralizes chemical warfare agents. The product is used in over 20 countries around the world.[60] RSDL is made of the chemicals Dekon 139 2,3 butanedione monoxime (DAM). According to the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management office within the United States Department of Health and Human Services, "RSDL is used as a medical device for the decontamination of skin exposed to chemical warfare agents such as sulfur mustard, VX, VR and certain biological toxins."[61] As of September 2017, RSDL is available to the regular public. Previously, it was only available to the military.[62]

The United States Department of Defense in September 2017 awarded the company a contract to supply the RSDL kit (RSDL) to the military. The contract is for five years and is worth $171 million. The RSDL lotion protects people’s skin from various chemical warfare agents. The product contains a sponge that is filled with the decontamination lotion in and impermeable packet. When applied to the skin, the lotion reacts with the agent on the skin and quickly neutralizes it so that it becomes non-toxic.[63]

Public affairs[edit]

Emergent Biosolutions was among many companies giving financial support to delegations at both major party political conventions in the summer of 2016. The conventions used the contributions for receptions, food and transportation, but by law could not use contributions to fund campaigns. For example, Emergent hosted a breakfast reception at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The company sent representatives to both conventions with the aim of specifically meeting with Maryland delegates to educate the delegates about medical countermeasures.[64]

Emergent runs a charitable giving program called Give Corporate Social Responsibility. The company has given money to the Lansing, Michigan school district. Prominent donations and scholarships include; $15,000 to Lansing J. W. Sexton High School for the purchase of equipment for the AP Biology program,[65] $25,000 to Sexton High School for engineering equipment,[66] and $25,000 to the Lansing Promise scholarship fund[66]

Emergent is also a donor to the "Relentless Tour", an anti-bullying program that tries to raise awareness of autism and the problem of autistic children being bullied.[67]

On October 19, 2017, Emergent and the Alliance for Biosecurity awarded Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and several other Members of Congress the "Congressional Biosecurity Champion Award" at Emergent’s Maryland manufacturing facility for their work and leadership on biosecurity issues in Congress.[68]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]