Emergent BioSolutions Lands ‘Warp Speed’ Contract to Manufacture Coronavirus Vaccines

The development of the coronavirus vaccine in the United States is about to kick into high gear. Emerging BioSolutions (EBS -7.74% )a company that helps the federal government prepare for potential public health threats, received an order from Uncle Sam worth approximately $628 million for the rapid production of lead vaccine candidates for SARS- CoV-2.

Changing role

Emergent BioSolutions develops and manufactures vaccines for the US government to stockpile in case of an emergency such as a smallpox or anthrax outbreak. Under the Warp Speed ​​program, Washington now wants to put Emergent to work developing and manufacturing some of the candidate vaccines that could prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19.

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Emergent’s longstanding contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has established three facilities in Baltimore that can rapidly manufacture hundreds of millions of vaccine doses in an emergency. Under the new order, Emergent will receive an investment of approximately $85.4 million to expand its facilities to produce millions of doses of candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, although they are still in development. clinical trials to test them for efficacy and safety.

Multi-partner manufacturer

Emergent will commit manufacturing capacity valued at approximately $542.7 million to produce these candidate vaccines through 2021. This means that leading U.S. government-backed vaccine innovators will be able to get Emergent to manufacture enough doses of their vaccine candidate. so that they can conduct clinical trials. Emergent will also begin mass production of candidates if initial data from their clinical trials looks promising.

Emergent currently has COVID-19-related collaboration agreements with vaccine developers, including Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.18% ). In April, it agreed to provide up to $135 million in services relating to J&J Advance SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.

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