Silver Spring-based United Therapeutics (NASDAQ: UTHR) subsidiary, Unither Virology, LLC has just been awarded a contract from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) division.
The Montgomery County biotech will receive a $45 million contract over five years, including a 42-month base period that will fetch approximately $10.6 million in funding. Eight milestone-based options are part of the remaining funds.
The contract allows Unither Virology to develop broad-spectrum glycobiology-based antiviral drugs which are licensed under an agreement with the Oxford Glycobiology Institute. The glycobiology-based antiviral drugs inhibit pathways used by viruses to reproduce, in affect reducing the likelihood of drug-resistant virus strains.
The contract is a major coup for one of the Baltimore-Washington's largest independent biotech's which has grown at a fast pace by selling its pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) drugs via non-government, private industry. The expansion into non-PAH drugs allows the company to further diversify its arsenal of drugs.
United Therapeutics is in close proximity to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), both organizations are within the same County. The contract will create at least 20 jobs at United Therapeutics's downtown Silver Spring headquarters.