On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced it would be investing another $1 billion in new COVID-19 vaccine trials in preparation for the upcoming fall.
The administration intends to spend roughly $5 billion on Project NextGen to help develop new tools for protection against COVID-19. According to the site, the U.S. government will “leverage public-private partnerships to develop new vaccines and therapeutics to better address current” (and future) SARS-CoV-2 viral strains.
With the $1 billion split among four smaller biotechnology companies, clinical trials for new vaccines compared to currently available ones will be made possible, according to Dawn O’Connell, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in a news conference on Tuesday.
US awards $1.4B as part of project Next Gen to drive development of new vaccines & therapies for Covid, including $300M+ to Regeneron for a new antibody to protect the immunocompromised (by @ReporterGoodman) https://t.co/4z1Xd6MJsH
— Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) August 22, 2023
O’Connell claims that the HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) held more than 55 meetings with companies over the past few months, focusing on the development of future coronavirus technologies.
O’Connell further mentioned that the government has not yet chosen the vaccine candidates it will be supporting from each company. Potential candidates include ICON Government and Public Health Solutions Inc. of Hinckley, Ohio; Pharm-Olam LLC of Houston; Technical Resources Intl. (TRI) Inc. of Bethesda, Maryland; and Rho Federal Systems Inc. of Durham, North Carolina.
“President Biden isn’t waiting until next year to be ready for whatever comes next,” said U.S. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, adding that the program is “really going to help us make sure we’re ready for whatever comes around the corner. And we don’t want to wait till we get to the corner to figure out what that is.”
The $5 billion investment to Project NextGen from the Biden administration was announced back in May, pushing for the advancement in vaccine research and rollout as well as governing control on all partnerships.