Tags: Ebola | drugmaker | vaccine | Obama

Ebola Contracts Worth $2 Billion Stand to Benefit Drugmakers

Monday, 10 November 2014 02:01 PM

Drugmakers including Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Emergent Biosolutions Inc. are among companies standing to gain from what may be $2 billion in U.S. contracts related to Ebola.

President Barack Obama asked Congress last week for $6.2 billion in emergency funding to stop the spread of the virus that has killed more than 4,800 people in West Africa. The request is heavily focused on health needs as opposed to prior funding that was largely centered on defense contracts, Brian Friel, a Bloomberg Intelligence contracts analyst, said.

Obama’s request includes goals to speed testing of vaccines and drugs overseas. Friel said he expects multiple drugmakers involved in Ebola will share in what will likely be no-bid contract awards to “make everyone happy.” His $2 billion estimate is based on the percentage of its budget the Department of Health and Human Services spent on contracts last year.

Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc are working on Ebola vaccines, as are NewLink Genetics Corp. and Novavax Inc.

Mapp, based in San Diego, along with Chimerix Inc., Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. and FujiFilm Holdings Corp. are developing drugs that target the infection.

Mapp doesn’t have the capacity to produce mass amounts of its drug quickly if needed, a gap a company such as Emergent Biosolutions, based in Rockville, Maryland, could fill with its production capacity, Friel said.

Little information is available yet about which companies are getting Ebola-related public funding. Congress has approved $838 million in Ebola money this year, resulting in $77 million in contracts so far. There is a three-month delay for the Defense Department to report contract data, so not all awards have been made public. The U.S. has spent more than $400 million as of Oct. 24, said Emily Cain, a spokeswoman for the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

Logistics contractors such as Pacific Architects & Engineers Inc., owned by New York-based private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg & Co., and international development firms such as the Australian company Coffey International Ltd. benefited from earlier funding, according to government data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Drugmakers including Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson and Emergent Biosolutions are among companies standing to gain from what may be $2 billion in U.S. contracts related to Ebola.
Ebola, drugmaker, vaccine, Obama
Monday, 10 November 2014 02:01 PM
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