About 40 Maryland life sciences organizations are working on creating and assembling COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, improving diagnostic tests, and giving clinical examination and technical support to guarantee safe and viable health care delivery.
The University System of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University have likewise committed a great many dollars toward examination, testing, and clinical preliminaries. The University of Maryland School of Medicine recently started stage three testing of a COVID-19 immunization.
Up to now, Maryland’s life sciences companies have secured more than $3 billion for the advancement of a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the infection that causes COVID-19.
Gaithersburg-based Novavax was granted $1.6 billion through Operation Warp Speed to finish late-stage clinical developments, set up large scale manufacturing, and deliver 100 million vaccine dosages as early as the end of 2020. It has also secured $388 million from the international Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and $60 million through a U.S. Department of Defense contract to support vaccine creation.
Rising BioSolutions, headquartered in Gaithersburg with three manufacturing facilities in Baltimore and Rockville, has agreements with AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Novavax, and Vaxart and also with Operation Warp Speed for the sum of $1.5 billion to help COVID-19 vaccine development and production.
Bethesda-based Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics won a $225 million Department of Homeland Security contract to transport clinical examples to testing labs.
Altimmune, headquartered in Gaithersburg, has a $4.7 million contract with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and is working with Rockville-based Vigene Biosciences on a single-dose intranasal COVID-19 vaccine.
The University System of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University have been working from the start of the pandemic on medical responses to combat COVID-19. Johns Hopkins has devoted $6 million in support of about 260 scientists and researchers working on more than two dozen projects involving COVID-19. In addition, Hopkins’ School of Medicine is conducting more than 100 clinical studies to develop COVID-19 diagnostics and, with $35 million from the U.S. Department of Defense, is working with the Bloomberg School of Public Health to test the efficacy of blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors as a viable treatment alternative.
The University System of Maryland faculty are working to develop a rapid COVID-19 test and are conducting a clinical trial of experimental stem cell therapy to reduce death in the sickest patients. The University of Maryland School of Medicine will receive up to $3.6 million over the next year from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to test hundreds of drugs, approved and marketed for other conditions, to see whether any can be repurposed to forestall and treat COVID-19.
“On the day of our first coronavirus cases, I said that Maryland was home to some of the top health research facilities in the world, and vowed that we would be a part of developing treatments and perhaps even a vaccine for this deadly virus,” said Governor Larry Hogan in a statement. “I want to commend our world-class life sciences community, our universities, and federal research labs for working together to fight this unprecedented global pandemic. Our state will continue to lead on the road to recovery.”