GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was awarded a contract to supply pre-pandemic vaccines to the U.S. strategic national stockpile. The company has received an initial $40 million order under the contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for bulk H5N1 antigen.
GSK will manufacture and store bulk H5N1 antigen using its recently acquired production facilities in North America. Terms of the contract also state that GSK may be directed by HHS to formulate this bulk antigen at some point in the future.
Additionally, HHS has the option to purchase pre-pandemic vaccines together with one of GSK’s proprietary adjuvant systems, which could mean that less antigen would be needed per dose to achieve a protective immune response.
Funding for this contract is provided through the HHS Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and the Office of Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures.
Separately, Novartis received a $41 million contract to supply to the U.S. government a pre-pandemic influenza vaccine against the H5N1 avian influenza strain. The pre-pandemic vaccine also was ordered by the HHS.