The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made a grant of more than $1.4bn to Project NextGen to facilitate the development of new vaccines and therapeutics for Covid-19.

Project NextGen is a $5bn programme led by the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response’s (ASPR) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). 

This initiative focuses on progressing vaccines and therapies into clinical trials, and their subsequent regulatory review and commercialisation for use by Americans. 

The latest funding includes a $1bn award to four BARDA clinical trial partners, ICON Government and Public Health Solutions, Pharm-Olam, Technical Resources and Rho Federal Systems, to carry out Phase IIb clinical trials of a vaccine.

Regeneron will receive $326m to develop a new monoclonal antibody to prevent Covid-19 infection.

Global Health Investment (GHIC) will be awarded $100m to advance technologies to expedite future responses.

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By GlobalData

There is also an award of $10m to Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JLABS) for the Blue Knight initiative, a collaboration between BARDA and JLABS.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated: “Project NextGen is a key part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to keeping people safe from Covid-19 variants. 

“These awards are a catalyst for the programme – kickstarting efforts to more quickly develop vaccines and continue to ensure availability of effective treatments.”