VaxGen sells anthrax vaccine to its old rival

Reduced to a skeleton crew and a bleak outlook, South San Francisco-based VaxGen sold its experimental anthrax vaccine to its former chief rival, Emergent BioSolutions, for $2 million down and up to $8 million in milestones.

VaxGen began to founder in 2006 when the government revoked an $877 million contract for the VaxGen vaccine after the company failed to start a human trial on schedule. Now Emergent, which makes the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine now available, says it plans to advance the experimental vaccine.

VaxGen, which once had more than 200 employees, has been reduced to a staff of about six after a planned merger with Raven biotechnologies fell through.

- here's VaxGen's release on the deal

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Shareholders stymie VaxGen, Raven merger
Momentum builds for VaxGen, Raven merger
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