US Gov’t Awards Texas A&M University $265 M for COVID-19 Vaccine Mfg

By Miranda Greenberg -

July 30, 2020

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a $265-million task order to the Texas A&M University System to reserve manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines at the university’s Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM).

With this task order, the US government has reserved the CIADM's capacity through December 2021 for US government partners developing vaccines, such as Novavax, under Operation Warp Speed, a US government program that seeks to accelerate development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

The task order falls under an existing agreement with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The CIADM is a public–private partnership between BARDA and the Texas A&M University System with manufacturing subcontracted to Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, a biologics CDMO.

The task order enables Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to expand production capacity for vaccine manufacturing. The CIADM subcontracts manufacturing to Fujifilm’s biomanufacturing facility in College Station, Texas, and the task order reserves manufacturing capacity at the facility through the end of 2021. The facility is one of three manufacturing facilities at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Texas campus. The task order will help Fujifilm accelerate its planned capacity expansion investments in its facility by several months, now with an anticipated completion by the fall 2020

Since 2012, BARDA has invested in expanding manufacturing capabilities in the US, including creating three CIADMs to boost national preparedness by providing expertise and infrastructure to develop and manufacture medical countermeasures, such as vaccines and therapeutics to respond to public health emergencies.

With today's task order, the Texas A&M University System CIADM becomes the second to be reserved and expanded for the Operation Warp Speed effort. The first was Emergent BioSolutions’ CIADM in Baltimore, Maryland.

In a separate development, Fujifilm Diosynth and Novavax, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based clinical-stage vaccine company, have entered an agreement under which Fujifilm Diosynth will manufacture bulk drug substance for NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. See related story.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies