Porton Biopharma (PBL) has announced the signing of a modification to its contract with the US National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The amendment will aid the advancement of a next generation intra-nasal anthrax vaccine into the clinical-trial phase, expected to begin enrolment this year.

The company will work with US clinical-stage company Blue Willow, who will be responsible for the execution of the clinical study.

The phase I study combines Blue Willow’s novel intra-nasal NanoVax system with PBL’s recombinant protective antigen for anthrax, a combination which produces a more effective product than currently licensed vaccines by enabling immunity to be achieved in fewer doses and via intra-nasal delivery, instead of injection.

The company is “delighted” to progress into the clinical phase of the contract, and explained that “this latest award is a recognition of all the hard work of staff at PBL and its partner Blue Willow, especially in writing, reviewing and gaining approval for the IND from the FDA.”

Dr Roger Hinton, managing director of PBL went on, “This is a pivotal study that builds on the research and development that has been used to progress this novel product to date by PBL and its partners in collaboration with NIAID’s technical team.  It is a recognition of the knowledge and expertise within the company and demonstrates the ability of PBL to further deliver on our track record of developing and manufacturing life-saving products for world-wide markets.”

The total value of the contract could be worth up to US $24 million over its eight-year term.