(Adds details, shares)

Nov 23 The U.S. Food and Drug Administrationapproved to expand the use of Emergent BioSolutions Inc's anthrax vaccine to prevent suspected or confirmedexposure to the bacterium that causes the disease.

The FDA approved the vaccine, BioThrax, for use in patientswho are between 18-65 years of age in conjunction withantibiotic treatment. (1.usa.gov/1OcqiJE)

BioThrax was initially approved by the FDA in 1970 for theprevention of anthrax disease in persons at high risk ofexposure. It is the only FDA-licensed vaccine for the disease.

The U.S. health regulator also approved the company'streatment for inhaled anthrax, Anthrasil, in March.(reut.rs/1MNHroI)

Anthrax disease, especially in the inhaled form, is oftenfatal if not promptly treated. Anthrax, which has been used as aweapon for nearly a century, is still considered as one of themost likely agents to be used in biological warfare.

Anthrax can be found naturally in soil and affects domesticand wild animals. People get sick if they come in contact withinfected animals or contaminated animal products.

Shares of the company closed at $37.74 on the New York StockExchange on Monday. (Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silvaand Siddharth Cavale)