Moderna Gets $483 Million To Support Coronavirus Vaccine Research

(ConservativePeak.Com)- Moderna was the first company that tested a COVID-19 vaccine on humans last month, and now they have a better chance of eventually receiving approval for the vital drug.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) announced it will commit up to $483 million to the company to help pay for late-stage clinical trials and help increase manufacturing of the vaccine.
Phase one of the vaccine study enrolled 45 adults of varying ages so far, and the National Institutes of Health is currently recruiting two more patient groups that will study adults aged 51 to 70, and then adults 71 and older.
Moderna hopes that they will be able to enter phase two of the second sometime in the second quarter of this year, assuming all goes well with phase one. That means phase three could start “as soon as fall, 2020,” according to a statement the company released Thursday.
Moderna also announced plans to hire as many as 150 workers in the United States to help with engineering, clinical and regulatory issues, as well as manufacturing.
In the statement, CEO Stephane Bancel said:
“Time is of the essence to provide a vaccine against this pandemic virus. By investing now in our manufacturing process scale-up to enable large scale production for pandemic response, we believe that we would be able to supply millions of doses per month in 2020, and with further investments, tens of millions per month in 2021, if the vaccine candidate is successful in the clinic.”
Bancel recently also mentioned to Goldman Sachs that the vaccine may be available to “some people,” including healthcare workers, as early as the fall if an emergency provision were authorized.
Rick Bright, the director of BARDA, said in the statement:
“Vaccines are a critical tool for saving lives and stopping the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Delivering a safe and effective vaccine for a rapidly spreading virus requires accelerated action. BARDA’s goal is to have vaccine available as quickly as possible, and preparing now for advanced stage clinical trials and production scale-up while Phase 1 is underway could shave months off development of COVID-19 vaccines.”
As President Donald Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force announced new guidelines Thursday for how governors could re-open their states, many in the medical field still don’t believe a full “return to normalcy” can occur in the United States and beyond without a widely-available vaccine.
Social distancing and good hygiene alone won’t stop the virus, they say, and people are likely to still be very cautious, careful and possibly even afraid to resume many of the activities that they did willingly in the past.
One of those activities is attending sporting events and large gatherings. A study by Seton Hall a few weeks ago found that most diehard sports fans wouldn’t attend a live sporting event until a successful vaccine was released, for fear that social distancing would be impossible, making contracting th