The U.S. government has exercised an option to extend a contract with San Diego-based Pfenex Inc., increasing an earlier agreement $8 million to award $23.9 million all told to support the development of its anthrax vaccine.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has funded Pfenex since July 2010. By increasing the private company’s funding, it will be able to finish pre-clinical studies, analysis and early product manufacture.

-SDBJ Staff Report