Emergent BioSolutions has received FDA approval to extend the shelf life of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) from three to four years.

Based on the approval, Emergent will receive a payment of approximately $30m for doses previously delivered to the strategic national stockpile (SNS) under the terms of the company’s BioThrax procurement contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, the approval has resulted in an immediate price increase for the future delivery of BioThrax doses valued at $405m, for the delivery of 14.5 million doses.

Emergent chairman and CEO Fuad El-Hibri said that the contract extension was important as it would extend the ability of the US Government to store the product in the SNS.

“We are continuing our efforts to further enhance the attributes of BioThrax, including research towards a further reduction in the vaccination schedule and an expanded label indication for post-exposure prophylaxis. We believe these enhancements, if approved, will advance the US government’s preparedness efforts in response to anthrax as a potential weapon of bioterrorism,” El-Hibri said.