Pharmaceutical giant Novavax has been awarded $1.6 billion from President Donald Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” program, which aims to deliver hundreds of millions of rushed Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines to market potentially by year’s end.
According to reports, the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based drug manufacturer was granted the taxpayer money to support the rapid “large-scale manufacturing of NVX-COV2373” jabs, 100 million doses of which will go into production beginning this fall.
The goal is to have enough doses of the injectable drug ready by the start of 2021 to jab the entire nation – or as Trump himself put it, enough to jab anyone who “wants” the vaccine.
Since getting vaccinated for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) seems likely to become a requirement in order to travel or enter businesses – much like how face masks are currently in many areas – the presumption is that millions of Americans will line right up to “voluntarily” get the Novavax jab once it becomes available.
“What this Warp Speed award does is it pays for production of 100 million doses, which would be delivered starting in the fourth quarter of this year, and may be completed by January or February of next year,” stated Novavax CEO Stanley Erck.
The money will also help cover the expenses associated with a large “Phase 3” trial of the experimental vaccine, which is said to be the final state of human testing. As many as 30,000 human guinea pigs will reportedly participate in this trial.
Drug giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is also hopping on the gravy train, having partnered with the federal government back in March to receive nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money to develop its own vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
J&J, as you may recall, has been the subject of many lawsuits over the years, including one from about a decade ago in which the company was accused of colluding with a pharmaceutical consultancy firm to illegally push drugs on elderly nursing home residents, as well as fraudulently bilking the Medicaid system to maximize profits.
Moderna has also captured about a half a billion from Operation Warp Speed, along with AstraZeneca, which was handed $1.2 billion from the fund to develop a Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in partnership with the University of Oxford.
“Adding Novavax’s candidate to Operation Warp Speed’s diverse portfolio of vaccines increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” stated Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar.
The results of Novavax’s Phase 1 trial should be available by the end of July, followed by the launch of a Phase 2 trial. Phase 3 will involve a much larger pool of participants that will receive the recombinant nanoparticle jab, which reportedly contains a “proprietary” adjuvant that supposedly helps to boost the immune response.
Novavax is also said to have received a $388 million grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, which requires that grantees who receive manufacturing support give right of first refusal of vaccines to what’s known as the Covax facility, an entity created by CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Novavax was trading at $5 a share on the first trading day of this year, now it’s $120 a share,” wrote one Zero Hedge commenter in response to the news.
“Imagine if you knew, back in January, that there was going to be a mystery virus pandemic and that six months later this company would be awarded funding to produce a vaccine. I’d wager someone knew!”
More stories about Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are available at Vaccines.news.
Sources for this article include: