NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SIGA Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:SIGA), a company specializing in the development of pharmaceutical agents to combat bio-warfare pathogens, announced today that it plans to appeal to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Hearings and Appeals the conclusion of SBA's Area Director following a size protest that SIGA was "other than small." On October 8, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had announced its intention to award SIGA a contract with HHS to deliver 1.7 million courses of its smallpox antiviral for the Strategic National Stockpile, subject to the protest. HHS's announcement, and the protest, related to a Request for Proposal issued by HHS's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (RFP-BARDA-09-35).
The Small Business Administration ruling results from a small business size protest filed by Chimerix, Inc. (Chimerix) after it had received pre-award notice from HHS that it was an unsuccessful bidder. HHS designated the proposed contract as a small business set-aside at the time of the original solicitation in March 2009. This ruling, if upheld on appeal, would render SIGA ineligible for the set-aside.
"We are disappointed with the Small Business Administration's finding, rendered November 5, 2010, and believe that SIGA appropriately qualified as a small business concern for this procurement. We are very proud that HHS selected our groundbreaking drug, ST 246 ®, for this important acquisition. We look forward to resolving the appeal favorably and promptly," said Dr. Eric A. Rose, SIGA's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.Dr. Rose added, "Development of ST-246 will continue, supported by our robust advanced development BARDA contracts, which fully fund expeditious development through completion of the FDA approval process for therapeutic and post-exposure use of the oral formulation, and therapeutic use of the IV formulation. The United States continues to need a smallpox antiviral to address the material threat that smallpox bioterrorism presents to our national security, and we believe that our drug is the solution for this challenge. A successful appeal is only one of multiple means by which the federal government could procure ST-246."