In a press release yesterday, US company Emergent BioSolutions announced they have been called upon by the US government under their existing contract to support Trump's controversially aggressive "Project Warpspeed."
Project Warpspeed has faced scrutiny by vaccines experts in its promise to safely deliver a 300M vaccines by early January 2021.
“Emergent is proud of this expanded BARDA partnership that symbolizes confidence in our development and manufacturing capabilities that have served the U.S. government’s needs for more than two decades,” said Robert G. Kramer Sr., president and chief executive officer of Emergent BioSolutions. “Our longstanding record of delivering safe and effective medical countermeasures for public health positions us to continue to help at this critical moment by advancing COVID-19 vaccine programs of our fellow innovators in the industry.”
Johnson & Johnson Collaboration
In late April, Emergent also announced they would be working with Johnson & Johnson in support of development and manufacturing. The target of this collaboration is one billion doses worldwide with a value of approximately $135M.
“Eight years ago, HHS invested in novel public-private partnerships to create three Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing or CIADMs to help strengthen the nation’s biotech infrastructure to prepare and respond to emergencies,” said Gary Disbrow, Ph.D., acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. “Leveraging the capacity available at the Bayview CIADM to speed development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine is precisely how we envisioned these centers be used in pandemic response.”
The company also boasts their partnership with governments on "Hyperimmune Therapeutics" which the company describes as "immune globulin therapeutics with many different types of antibodies (polyclonal antibodies) that are manufactured from plasma, a component of blood, and leverage the immune response in humans or animals....Each dose contains a set amount of antibodies specific to a target pathogen, such as a virus, bacteria, or toxin" according to a company fact sheet.
It is unclear if Emergent plans on employing this strategy in their Coronavirus work with the government. However, the fact sheet is linked from their dedicated page on Coronavirus work.