$500 Million Funding Advances Vaccine and Therapeutic Development
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today confirmed the selection of initial next-generation vaccine candidates and more than $500 million in awards for Project NextGen.
Announced on October 13, 2023, the three next-generation vaccine selections are distinct, targeting stronger, broader, or longer-lasting immune responses.
Intranasal vaccines have the potential to stop viruses at the site of infection, and self-amplifying mRNA and additional antigens may generate a stronger immune response than current vaccine technologies.
The awards announced today will support companies as they prepare their vaccine candidates for Phase 2b clinical evaluation:
$8.5 million to CastleVax for a vector-based intranasal vaccine candidate,
$10 million to Codagenix for a live-attenuated intranasal vaccine candidate,
$10 million to Gritstone Bio for a self-amplifying mRNA vaccine candidate.
“The vaccine selections and funding announced today are important steps forward for Project NextGen – with vaccine and therapeutics candidates moving quickly to clinical trials that will start in the coming months,” said Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell in a press release.
To support these and all future Project NextGen clinical studies, the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded over $240 million, including investments in cold-chain sample management, genomic sequencing, and increased central laboratory capacity for sample testing.
Finally, BARDA is awarding over $241 million to support new technologies to improve national preparedness for future COVID-19 outbreaks and patient access. These technologies have the potential to enable shorter development timelines for monoclonal antibodies through mRNA, increased efficiency in virus testing, and alternate routes for vaccine administration:
The over $500 million announced today builds on the over $1.4 billion awarded in August – accelerating products toward clinical trials and potential commercial availability.
To view the complete list of awards and learn more about Project NextGen, please visit medicalcountermeasures.gov/nextgen/.