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VaxGen Gets a Boost From Anthrax Contract

Biotech VaxGen (VXGN) is adding to its huge September run-up as shares rise on word it was awarded an $80 million government contract for an anthrax vaccine.

In recent trading, shares were up 87 cents, or 7.2%, to $12.94.

The company said the three-year National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases contract will pay for up to 3 million doses of the vaccine, which will be tested on animals.

Shares of VaxGen have nearly tripled over the past month, rising from a close of $4.32 on Sept. 2. While its AIDS vaccine results bombed earlier this year, investors have become excited over the company's promise in developing reliable anthrax and smallpox vaccines.

Those vaccines have a good shot at attracting a chunk of the $6 billion the government will spend in the next 10 years on the so-called Project BioShield, a program to protect Americans from bioterrorism.

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