Those of you who follow the news closely will have seen a month or two ago the start of the acquisition of RSDL by Emergent Biosolutio0ns, known best for their Biothrax product. This has now been completed and Emergent anticipate a number of other new product acquisitions along the same ‘1st tier medical countermeasure’ path. The Emergent announcement stated that this was good news as it would allow the same people that support RSDL to support Biothrax, that new products would be embedded in a team that understands countermeasure requirements and that it would increase R&D and manufacturing expertise.
Personally I find it a very interesting departure. Previously vaccine companies have stayed far left of boom, having very little to do with the ‘boots on the ground,’ with their customer being larger government departments. This is a departure from that (and it will be interesting to see whether it is copied by other vaccine manufacturers) and will cause a number of interesting challenges for Emergent - not least the concept of relatively small scale sales to responder agencies, rather than enormous sales to federal government. Putting them at the front line will, however, give them a chance to educate the responder in the need for anthrax vaccines and which one they should choose. If they follow up their decision to buy other Medical Countermeasure companies (Heyltex to complete the CBR trinity??) then they will give Pfizer a run for their money (with the Meridian and Cyanokit brands) and start to close out any possible competition.