BioPort Struggles

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Michigan anthrax vaccine maker BioPort says its finances are up in the air.

The Lansing company is the nation's only manufacturer of the anthrax vaccine. It says its future is uncertain because the federal government won't say how much vaccine it needs to buy.

BioPort President Bob Kramer says he's been contacted by foreign governments about purchasing the vaccine for roughly four times what the U.S. government pays.

Under a 1999 contract, that's $10.36 per dose.

Kramer says BioPort is hamstrung by its contract, which requires the company to sell everything it can produce to the Department of Defense.

BioPort's relations with the government have been strained in recent years. The company repeatedly failed to win approval to distribute the vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration. BioPort was under particularly heavy scrutiny last fall, as anthrax attacks gripped the nation.

BioPort finally won FDA approval in January after more than three years of trying.