The issue of the U.S. federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was revisited yet again in a hearing in the House of Representatives. While partisanship was on full display, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for a vaccine and that the development of candidates has not compromised scientific principles.
In deals worth billions, Sanofi SA and Glaxosmithkline plc (GSK) have made new agreements this week to supply the U.S. and U.K. governments with a COVID-19 vaccine. The two companies also are in advanced discussions with the European Union to supply up to 300 million doses of a vaccine.
The U.S. government will pay $1.95 billion to Pfizer Inc. and Biontech SE for the first 100 million doses of their jointly developed mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine once Pfizer manufactures it and receives the FDA’s approval or emergency use authorization. The two companies agreed, as part of Operation Warp Speed, to begin delivering 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.
While biopharmaceutical research is currently concentrating on the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the disease has provided a sharp reminder that our focus should not be lost on infectious diseases as a whole, along with the growing global problem of antibiotic resistance (AMR), which has the potential to dwarf COVID-19 in terms of deaths and economic costs, according to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA).