The Biden administration plans to devote $5 billion to speed up the development of new and effective treatments and vaccines against current and future Covid variants.
‘Project Next Gen’ is expected to be launched soon as a sequel to the Trump Administration’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’.
The program will focus on creating a ‘Pan-Coronavirus’ vaccine, and treatments that will be able to withstand future threats from the family of viruses that includes Covid, SARS and MERS.
“Building on the work the Administration has accomplished over the last few years and to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving virus that causes COVID-19, Project NextGen will accelerate and streamline the rapid development of next generation of vaccines and treatments through public-private collaborations,” a senior administration official told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.
“The infusion of a $5B investment at minimum, will help catalyze scientific advancement in areas that have large public health benefits for the American people with the goal of developing safe and effective tools for the American people,” the official added.
The program takes a similar approach to its predecessor “Operation Warp Speed” launched under the Trump administration in 2020, in partnering with private sector companies to accelerate development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
“It’s been very clear to us that the market on this is moving very slowly. There’s a lot that government can do, the administration can do, to speed up those tools … for the American people,” Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, told The Washington Post, which first reported on the new program.
Jha didn’t say when the products may be expected to come to market. “The timelines are really going to be predicated on how quickly the scientific advancements continue, and how quickly we can study and measure the efficacy and safety of these products,” he told the outlet.
The program has three main goals. It will focus on creating long-lasting monoclonal antibodies resistant to new COVID-19 variants, as well as broader vaccines that can protect against several different coronaviruses—also referred to as pan-coronavirus vaccines.