NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Siga Technologies Inc. said Wednesday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services intends to give it a contract to deliver 1.7 million courses of its smallpox treatment for the Strategic National Stockpile.

Its shares soared 41 percent on the announcement of a contract that could generate as much as $2.8 billion in revenue. The company had only $13.8 million in revenue in 2009.

The contract award depends on the successful resolution of a complaint by a rival for the contract that Siga may not qualify for the award as a small business as defined by the government, the company said.

The company said the contract is pending because competitor Chimerix Inc. filed a protest against Siga's selection because of its size. Chimerex objected after being informed by the Department of Health that it was an unsuccessful bidder. The department designated the proposed contract as a small business set-aside at the time of the original solicitation in March of 2009.

SIGA said intends to respond promptly to the Small Business Administration concerning Chimerix's protest.

The Strategic National Stockpile is a national stockpile of medicines meant for use in the event of a public health emergency.

Siga shares climbed $3.53, or 41 percent, to $12.09 in late morning trading after climbing as high as $12.39 earlier in the session.

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