Five BioHealth Capital Region Companies Make List of Largest COVID-19 Government Contracts
At BioBuzz, we’ve been chronicling the BioHealth Capital Region’s contributions to the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve covered BHCR companies developing vaccine candidates and creating diagnostic and serological COVID-19; we’ve also written about companies across the region that have delivered essential materials for the fight against COVID-19 and pivoted their business models to help the region navigate this public health crises.
Just last week USA Today ran a story detailing the 30 largest COVID-19 contracts awarded by the federal government. Here’s a quick round-up of BHCR companies that made USA Today’s top 30:
#4 Phlow Corp., Richmond, Virginia
Phlow Corp was awarded, according to USA Today, an $818.8M contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The initial 4-year contract is worth $354M and has the potential to reach about $812M over the next decade, according to the New York Times. Within HHS, the funding is coming from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Phlow Corp will use the first phase of funding for “…advanced manufacturing of America’s most essential medicines at risk of shortage, including medicines for the COVID-19 pandemic response.”
Phlow Corp, according to its press release, will be able to add 1.6M doses of five essential generic medicines used to treat COVID-19 patients to the national stockpile.
#8, Emergent BioSolutions, Rockville, Maryland
Emergent BioSolutions, a global life sciences company whose mission is to protect and enhance life, provides specialty products and contract development and manufacturing solutions to address public health threats. Emergent BioSolutions came in at #8 on USA Today’s tally with $628.3M in DHHS/BARDA government contracts related to COVID-19. The contract is for scaling production of COVID-19 vaccine candidates to rapidly-produce millions of vaccine doses as part of the federal government’s “Operation Warp Speed” initiative.
$542.7M of this funding will be deployed to reserve manufacturing space at Emergent’s Bayview Facility that is located in Baltimore, Maryland, and was built in partnership with BARDA. The remaining funding will be used for fill/finish processes that will occur at Emergent’s facilities in Baltimore and Rockville.
#10, ThermoFisher Scientific, Inc. (Multiple Locations in Maryland)
Global life science giant ThermoFisher Scientific, which has multiple BHCR locations, received $597.7M in various COVID-19-related contracts, $386M of which has come from the DHHS. The scope of projects included in these contracts is expansive and includes COVID-19 test development and viral transport media (VTM) tubes.
#16, AstraZeneca, PLC, Gaithersburg, Maryland
BHCR anchor company AstraZeneca (AZ) is also pursuing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate with the support of a $413.2M DHHS/BARDA contract, according to USA Today. More recently, DHHS pledged up to $1.2B in funding support for AZ for 300M doses of its vaccine candidate AZD1222 as early as October 2020. AZD1222 was developed by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and licensed to AZ. This funding is also part of the government’s “Operation Warp Speed” and will support the acceleration of AZD1222’s Phase 3 clinical trials that will include up to 30,000 patients.
#25, Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland
Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics have won $225.8M in government contracts for COVID-19-related work, all of which are being provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to USA Today’s story. In February 2020, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) enlisted Longhorn to increase the production of its PrimeStore® Molecular Transport Medium (MTM) product, which was developed in 2006 in preparation for a possible H5N1 global pandemic. MTM was classified as a De Novo (a brand new device) Class II product and was cleared by the FDA for SARS-Cov-2 testing use.
Remarkably, five of the companies, or roughly 17% of the list, call the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) home. The USA Today story confirms what the region has known since the pandemic began: That the BHCR, with its vibrant life science industry, vast network of research universities, proximity to government research agencies like the NIH and deep support ecosystem, is at the heart of the fight against COVID-19.
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