The White House has announced a $486 million vaccine deal

Euro News wrote, citing a report published by AstraZeneca that the White House has announced that a globally unprecedented deal has been struck for a coronavirus drug.

In the statement the White House claims it has secured a $486 million deal for the drug and will see an initial free does of antibody treatments to one million Americans in January.

The agreement was signed on Friday between Government officials and the drug development firm AstraZeneca Plc. The drug is a similar class of treatment to the one used on the US President, Donald Trump, recently.

A White House representative has stated that the roll out of a vaccine is expected to take place in January 2021, however this is in direct contradiction to the White House’s previous statement that they expected a drug to be available within a month.

The Government has committed to provide funding to AstraZeneca for a number of Phase three trials under the futuristically named “Operation Warp Speed” to ensure that a speedy roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine is achieved in the US.

According to AstraZeneca: To meet the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed goals, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) on Friday announced an agreement with UK pharma major AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) for late-stage development and large-scale manufacturing of the company’s COVID-19 investigational product AZD7442, a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, that may help treat or prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, collaborated with the DoD, to provide around $486 million to AstraZeneca for two Phase III clinical trials and related development activities, including a large-scale manufacturing demonstration project and supply of AZD7442 doses in the USA. This adds to a $1.2 billion award from the BARDA for COVID-vaccine supplies. The company’s American shares traded up 1.3% to $55.45 after-hours.
Assuming FDA approval, US government will distribute the treatment at no cost

If the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes use of AZD7442 for prevention of SARS-CoV-2, as outlined in agency’s guidance, the federal government will distribute the doses at no cost. As is customary with government-purchased medical products, healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the product.

The treatment came under the spotlight after President Donald Trump, while hospitalized with the virus, was treated with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ (Nasdaq: REGN) similar class of antibody-drug last week. Regeneron signed a $450 million deal in July to sell Operation Warp Speed enough doses of its REGN-COV2 to treat around 300,000 people.


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