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Alex Azar Secretary HHS

HHS, DoD Award $2.05B in COVID-19 Vaccine, Treatment Production Contracts; Alex Azar Quoted

The departments of Defense and Health and Human Services awarded contracts worth $2.05B combined to biopharmaceutical companies Novavax and Regeneron to accelerate the manufacture of their respective COVID-19 vaccine and treatment candidates.

Gaithersburg,Md.-based Novavax secured a $1.6B contract to demonstrate large-scale production of the company’s NVX‑CoV2373 vaccine candidate for the SARS-CoV-2 virus as part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, HHS said Tuesday.

Novavax will manufacture 100M doses of the investigational vaccine for clinical trials and potential distribution in support of the HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, U.S. Army Contracting Command and DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense.

The agreement builds on a prior $70M contract the company received in June to produce 10M doses of the vaccine.

In a separate announcement, HHS said it awarded $450M to Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Regeneron to drive production of the company’s REGN-COV2 investigational treatment option that will take place concurrently with clinical trials.

Regeneron expects to produce 70K to 300K initial doses of the antibody cocktail by the fall.

“Operation Warp Speed is creating a portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar

According to HHS, the companies’ vaccine and treatment candidates will be packaged and prepared for shipping immediately if clinical trials are successful and the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization.

The Trump administration aims to have 300M doses of COVID-19 vaccines by January.

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