The funding from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to Emergent BioSolutions arrives as the two partners extend an existing contract.
The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) will now provide its services to the US government for the development of a vaccine for COVID-19. Previously, the contract had covered working together ‘for pandemic preparedness’, which now extends into aiding in the current crisis.
The majority of the $628m (€561m) in funds will be utilized to reserve Emergent’s services for molecule-to-market CDMO services and to commit manufacturing capacity towards COVID-19 programs. The CDMO will be commissioned to provide these services through 2021.
As to which companies will be able to access these services, this will be determined by the US government, depending on the programs it believes to be the most promising.
The rest of the sum, $85.5m, will be spent expanding Emergent’s viral and non-viral drug product fill/finish capacity.
All CDMO services will take place at Emergent’s facilities in the US, located in Baltimore Bayview, Baltimore Camden, and Rockville. The latter two facilities will be the recipients of the funds for expansion.
“Emergent’s landmark partnership with BARDA puts us at the forefront of CDMO collaborations, elevating us to respond to these unprecedented times,” said Syed Husain, CDMO business unit head at Emergent.
The CDMO was already at the forefront of a number of leading vaccine candidates, including having partnered with Johnson & Johnson and with Novovax, the latter recently announced that it would be able to produce one billion doses in 2021.
Emergent clarified that the extended partnership with BARDA would include working on additional vaccine candidates to the ones previously referenced.