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Emergent's Vaccine Profile Boosts Sales Despite Stiff Rivalry

Zacks Equity Research

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. EBS is a global specialty biopharmaceutical company that offer specialized products to health care providers and governments to fulfil unmet medical needs and combat emerging public health threats.

The company’s key Biodefense product BioThrax is marketed for the general use in both pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis of anthrax disease. The U.S. government is the primary purchaser of the Biodefense products.

Emergent is also developing a next-generation anthrax vaccine candidate AV7909 for post-exposure prophylaxis of anthrax disease in a phase III study. The development and delivery of AV7909 is being funded by Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The company has a multi-year contract worth about $1.6 billion with the BARDA for advanced development and delivery of AV7909. It secured the contract in 2016.

This apart, Emergent markets smallpox vaccine ACAM2000 and anthrax monoclonal antibody raxibacumab, both of which were acquired in the fourth quarter of 2017 from Sanofi SNY and GlaxoSmithKline GSK, respectively.

Notably, last October, Emergent added the Narcan (naloxone HCl) nasal spray to its portfolio following the acquisition of the privately held Adapt Pharma. The product has been performing impressively ever since and has made a significant contribution to the company’s top line.

Also, in the same month of 2018, Emergent acquired the specialty vaccine company PaxVax, which added two marketed vaccines, namely Vivotif (Typhoid Vaccine Live Oral Ty21a) and Vaxchora (Cholera Vaccine, Live, Oral) to its portfolio.

The acquisition of Adapt Pharma and PaxVax expanded Emergent’s presence in the public health threats market.

Meanwhile, Emergent is conducting several early-mid-stage studies on its vaccine candidates to address various ailments. The company is conducting a phase I study on VLA1601 (Zika virus vaccine) in partnership with Valneva. Emergent also completed enrollment in the phase II study on flu IGIV therapeutic for treating severe illness caused by influenza A infection in hospitalized patients with data expected in the first half of 2020.

Emergent is also evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of its chikungunya vaccine candidate CHIKV-VLP in a phase II study across a series of dosing regimens.

We remind investors that Emergent faces stiff competition from a number of companies with Biodefense products or candidates under development for both the U.S. government procurement and development resources. Moreover, in April 2019, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited TEVA received the FDA approval to market its generic version of Narcan nasal spray. If Teva launches this generic version, it might negatively impact Emergent’s growth and revenues in the future.

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