US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that the US government has awarded Fujifilm a $265 million contract to expand the country's COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity, as reported CNBC.
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded the contract, which reserves manufacturing capacity through the end of 2021, to the Fujifilm Texas A&M Innovation Center in College Station, Texas.
Trump made the announcement at the Bioprocess Innovation Center at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Morrisville, North Carolina, where the company is manufacturing bulk drug substance for a COVID-19 vaccine by Novavax, which was awarded $1.6 billion by the federal government to help develop the vaccine.
The site will support Operation Warp Speed, the government's effort to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
Gerry Farrell, chief operating officer of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Texas, said that "we will allocate the reserved capacity based on direction provided by the US government, and similar to our North Carolina site, we expect a portion of the reserved capacity to be allocated to Novavax for its NVX-CoV2373 COVID-19 vaccine candidate."
HHS Secretary Alex Azar noted that "to ensure we have the needed capacity, we are engaging domestic centres for advanced manufacturing that HHS has helped build in recent years," adding that "securing more manufacturing capacity here in America will help get a vaccine to Americans without a day wasted and prepare our nation for future emergencies."
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