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SBA rules Siga ineligible for HHS contract

November 9, 2010 1:15 AM UTC

The U.S. Small Business Administration ruled that Siga Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:SIGA) was not a small business and therefore would not be eligible for an HHS small business contract for a smallpox antiviral that could be worth up to $2.8 billion. Siga plans to appeal the ruling. Siga's antiviral, ST-246, is in Phase II testing. The SBA said Siga did not qualify as a small business in part because its largest shareholder, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, owns a controlling interest. SBA said that together with MacAndrews and other affiliates, Siga would exceed the 500 employee limit for small business designation. In October, HHS said it intended to award Siga a contract pending the resolution of issues related to Siga's status with SBA. Siga was down $0.30 to $12.92 on Monday.

The SBA reviewed Siga's status after receiving a protest from Chimerix Inc. (Durham, N.C.), which unsuccessfully bid for the contract. Chimerix's smallpox antiviral, CMX001, is an oral Phospholipid Intramembrane Microfluidization (PIM)-conjugate chemical modification of cidofovir, a dsDNA viral synthesis inhibitor. ...