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Novavax Gets $1.6B from Governments Operation Warp Speed

Novavax will receive $1.6 billion through the government’s Operation Warp Speed to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

A Maryland Biotech company, Novavax, has signed a deal worth up to $1.6 billion with the US government’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine program, securing more federal funds than any other company behind a potential COVID-19 inoculation.

According to Novavax President and CEO Stanley C. Erck, “The pandemic has caused an unprecedented public health crisis, making it more important than ever that industry, government and funding entities join forces to defeat the novel coronavirus together.”

“We are honored to partner with Operation Warp Speed to move our vaccine candidate forward with extraordinary urgency in the quest to provide vital protection to our nation’s population,” he added.

Erck said Novavax’s vaccine could be on the market by the first quarter of next year.

Novavax is the fourth company to receive federal funds to conduct large-scale Phase 3 clinical trials and manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine. Each trial is expected to include 30,000 people.

In May, the government awarded more than $1.2 billion to pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for vaccine development. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have also received Phase 3 contracts.

Phase 1 clinical trial data from Novavax on 131 study subjects is expected by the end of the month, Erck said.

Erck said he expects Novavax to begin those Phase 3 trials in the fourth quarter of this year, or possibly late in the third quarter.

In a statement said by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, “Adding Novavax’ 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.”

“Today’s $1.6 billion investment supports the Novavax candidate, depending on success in clinical trials, all the way through to manufacturing 100 million doses for the American people,” he added.