The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Gaithersburg, Md.-based biopharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions a $628M task order to support the production of potential vaccines for the novel coronavirus through 2021.
HHS said Monday the task order comes as part of Emergent’s existing agreement with the HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and includes $542.8M for contract development and manufacturing organization services for the vaccine candidates.
The award also covers an $85.5M investment to expand Emergent's CDMO activities for therapeutic manufacturing applications.
Contract work is meant to support the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which seeks to accelerate the production and delivery of candidates for a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Emergent’s manufacturing capacity will help drug companies begin producing doses of their vaccine candidates that are already nearing approval.
“Securing more manufacturing capacity here in America for candidates that make it to the final stages of Operation Warp Speed will help get a vaccine to American patients without a day wasted,” he noted.