US Gov’t Announces $5-Bn for Project NextGen a Post-COVID-19 Initiative
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has detailed its “Project NextGen” initiative, a $5-billion plan to accelerate and streamline the development of the next generation of vaccines and treatments against COVID-19.
Based at the HHS and led by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the HHS and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Project NextGen will coordinate across the federal government and the private sector to advance the pipeline of new vaccines and therapeutics into clinical trials and potential review by the US Food and Drug Administration for authorization or approval.
The program will focus on several areas, including:
- Mucosal vaccines such as those delivered intranasally, which could reduce infection and transmission, in addition to preventing serious illness and death;
- Vaccines that provide broader protection against variants of concern and a longer duration of protection;
- Pan-coronavirus vaccines that would protect against several different coronaviruses;
- Monoclonal antibodies that are resilient against new variants as they arise; and
- New technologies that will improve access and enable more flexible production of vaccines and therapeutics.
Announced in April 2023, the program has already started the activities necessary to develop vaccines and treatments, including but not limited to:
- Development efforts at BARDA to examine immune responses across vaccines;
- Using NIAID clinical trial networks to evaluate multiple early vaccine candidates;
- Public-private partnerships between BARDA and vaccine and therapeutic developers to de-risk product development; and
- BARDA’s support of manufacturing and platform approaches to improve yields and accelerate the availability of vaccines and therapeutics.