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Cangene wins anthrax antitoxin contract with U.S.

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Cangene Corp. has received another contract — potentially for as much as $264 million — to provide its Anthrax Immune Globulin Intravenous (AIGIV) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The contract is part of the U.S. government’s bio-defence program that Cangene has been participating in since 2007.

In conjunction with the contract award, Cangene received the first delivery order under the contract for the collection and storage of anti-anthrax human plasma enough to manufacture 10,000 doses of final drug product. That order is expected to be worth about $63 million.

According to a release from HHS this new round of contracts — which includes orders from four other suppliers — means the U.S. supply of anthrax antitoxin will be maintained until 2018.

Orders placed today — including the $63 million Cangene order and a $196 million contract with GlaxoSmithKline — will replenish the stockpile of anthrax antitoxin as doses currently in the Strategic National Stockpile expire.

The U.S. government agency also said the contracts establish, for the first time, a surge capacity to produce antitoxin if an anthrax attack occurs.

Earlier this month Cangene also announced an expansion of the scope of work included in a contract with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the supply of Vaccinia Immune Globulin Intravenous (VIGIV) into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.

That additional work could be worth as much as $77 million.

Cangene has been supplying VIGIV — used to treat extreme reactions to smallpox vaccinations — since 2002.

At one point this morning Cangene’s share price was up as much as 16 per cent. It was since come down and shortly after noon today it was up 20 cents or close to 10 per cent to $2.30.

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