Emergent eyes capacity boost for anti-nerve gas auto-injector

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/Kheng guan Toh
GettyImages/Kheng guan Toh
Emergent BioSolutions says it is looking to expand auto-injector manufacturing capacity due to growing demand for its nerve agent antidote product Trobigard.

Emergent’ supplies its drug-device combination product Trobigard (Atropine Sulfate/Obidoxime Chloride) to select European, Middle Eastern and US-allied countries for use in the event of nerve agent or organophosphate poisoning.

In October​, the firm won a contract worth $25m (€21m) to supply the US Department of State with the nerve agent antidote auto-injector.

At an investor and analyst day last week, SVP of devices Doug White at Emergent said the firm has enough manufacturing capacity to service this agreement, and meet its other contractual obligations through 2018 but is eyeing up an expansion to fulfil growing demand.

“We are actively looking to expand our manufacturing capabilities for our auto-injector device the Trobigard product,”​ he said. “We have a third-party OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] partner. This partner is very, very experienced and supplies product to companies like Sanofi, Lilly and GSK at a very high scale.”

In 2015​ Emergent launched the Emergard military-grade intramuscular auto-injector device for self-administered antidotes through an exclusive worldwide license with the Austrian firm Pharma Consult GmbH (PHC).

At the time, Emergent also inked a manufacturing and supply agreement for the auto-injector with device developer Nemera Development from its facility in Neuenburg, Germany.

But moving forward White told investors Emergent is looking to “potentially double that capacity so that we can continue to look for opportunities with different governments and also potentially expanding within the current contracts that we have.”

Trobigard

Emergent’s Trobigard portfolio is not approved by the US FDA or any other regulatory agency, but is being stockpiled by a number of countries as an antidote for nerve agent exposure.

“It’s a very simple system,”​ explained White. “It has a basically a simple unlocking device that you pull off, you press firmly against your size and takes about 10 seconds for the antidote to be administered.”

He added there are applications for the auto-injector in the military, and in the civilian and emergency responder markets, and thus the need for increased capacity.

“When you look at our auto-injector business, which is relatively new for us, we are already seeing significant traction.”

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