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US pays largest sum so far for COVID-19 vaccine research


Irving, Texas. July 7, 2020

According to BBC News, the US federal government will pay $1.6bn (£1.3bn) to drug maker Novavax to produce 100m coronavirus doses.

The payment is the largest made so far by the US "Operation Warp Speed" - a partnership between the federal government and the private sector to find a coronavirus vaccine - and the fourth made to a drug manufacturer.

Novavax, which is based in Maryland, has never before brought a product to market, according to the New York Times.

“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,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement on Tuesday.

Novavax CEO Stanley Erck told CNN on Monday that the deal with the US government "speaks to the confidence that they have in our platform to be able to develop a vaccine". He added that the company aims to ship out 100m vaccination doses by February 2021.

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