Protein Sciences announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will continue to support the company’s influenza vaccines program. BARDA has agreed to modify its contract to support certain activities associated with scaling up manufacturing to meet the capacity metrics in the contract and to be able to expand the age indication of Flublok and Panblok influenza vaccines, according to the company press release.
Protein Sciences expects to have approval for use of Flublok in people 50 years and above in time for the 2013/14 influenza season, while Panblok is being developed to protect against pandemic influenza. Both vaccines are manufactured using the company’s egg-free baculovirus expression vector system, a platform that enables rapid production of vaccine without the use of live influenza virus. Protein Sciences and BARDA entered negotiations to provide additional support for the establishment of Flublok large-scale manufacturing in Pearl River, NY and help fund clinical studies required to secure FDA approval of Flublok for use in populations not included in the initial approval. The company release says that 13 new employees have been hired to begin operations in Pearl River, and the company plans to add approximately 30 more within the next year.