As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, there have been many biotechnical, pharmaceutical, and vaccine-specific companies that have been laser-focused on the production of both therapeutics to treat the novel coronavirus as well as vaccines to eradicate it. One of these companies, Novavax has been awarded a $1.6B grant to continue its production of a vaccine.
The Federal Government has a grant program set up to award funds to several of these companies, including Moderna, and Novavax, to find ways to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 which has already killed over 120,000 people in the United States alone. This program is being called Operation Warp Speed.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services:
Operation Warp Speed (OWS) aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures)
Here’s what Stanley C. Erck, President and CEO of Novavax had to say about the company receiving this federal grant:
The pandemic has caused an unprecedented public health crisis, making it more important than ever that industry, government, and funding entities join forces to defeat the novel coronavirus together. We are honored to partner with Operation Warp Speed to move our vaccine candidate forward with extraordinary urgency in the quest to provide vital protection to our nation’s population.
We are grateful to the U.S. government for its confidence in our technology platform and are working tirelessly to develop and produce a vaccine for this global health crisis.
Novavax has been working on a COVID-19 vaccine since the coronavirus became a pandemic. The company was chosen to participate in the White House’s Operation Warp Speed, and the CEO said he’s confident that the vaccine that is being developed “will stimulate a potent neutralizing immune response in humans.”
This Grant is the largest grant given out by the White House to date. It should go far to complete late-stage clinical development, including a pivotal phase three clinical trial, establish large-scale manufacturing and deliver 100 million doses of a vaccine. The goal is to have this ready by the end of the year.