The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has agreed to give materials engineering company Corning approximately $204M to expand manufacturing capacity for glass vials to store potential vaccines for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Corning said Tuesday it will use the funds to drive production of the Valor Glass technology at company facilities located in New York, North Carolina and New Jersey to support the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
BARDA's selected manufacturers entering clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine and drug candidates will have priority access to the vials.
Wendell Weeks, chairman and CEO of Corning, said the company "is ready to do our part in the fight against the pandemic, as well as to help prepare for future public health emergencies."
The agency collaborated with the U.S. Army Contracting Command and the Department of Defense's Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense on the funding effort.
In 2017, Corning partnered with Pfizer and Merck to update glass containers and help the government strengthen the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain.