COVID-HIG is a candidate human hyperimmune product being developed as a potential treatment for COVID-19 in severe hospitalized patients and high-risk, acute symptomatic patients to prevent progression to severe symptoms. COVID-HIG will be manufactured using plasma donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19 with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
“In the current pandemic scenario where no preventative or therapeutic options for COVID-19 are available, public-private partnerships such as this are essential to the rapid development of medical interventions,” said Robert Kramer Sr., president and chief executive officer, Emergent BioSolutions. “Aside from deploying our HHS-partnered Center for Innovation in Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) to help companies advance COVID-19 vaccine candidates through manufacturing, today’s announcement of BARDA’s funding is a testament to the strength and reliability of our proven hyperimmune platform, which has a successful history of enabling us to produce treatments for serious public health threats. With more than 40 years of experience with plasma-derived therapies, Emergent is committed to the goal of getting COVID-HIG to patients as early as possible, with a potential broader reach under Emergency Use Authorization, and the availability of a commercial supply.”
Rick Bright, director, BARDA, said, “Treatments for hospitalized COVID-19 patients are urgently needed to save lives in this severe pandemic. We are working with partners in industry and across the government, including engaging long-standing CIADM partners, to make safe, effective treatments available as quickly as possible.”
Emergent and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have agreed to incorporate the company’s COVID-HIG product candidate into one of NIAID’s clinical studies for assessment of treatments for COVID-19 once clinical material is available, and the study begins. Emergent has already initiated plasma screening and collection of human plasma with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 that will be further purified and concentrated through manufacturing of COVID-HIG.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with the U.S. government to lay the foundation of our near-term response plan. Our mutual objective is to save lives and Emergent is fully committed to working closely with BARDA, NIH/NIAID, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other key agencies to stay aligned on this common goal,” said Laura Saward, senior vice president and therapeutics business unit head, Emergent BioSolutions. “COVID-HIG will leverage the platform that was established in partnership with BARDA through their investment in our treatments for anthrax and smallpox vaccine complications, and it provides a sustainable capability for responding to emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19.”
Emergent’s multi-faceted response to COVID-19 includes the rapid deployment of its molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services. The company recently announced collaborations to develop and manufacture two COVID-19 vaccine candidates utilizing its integrated network, which includes its Baltimore Bayview CIADM. The Baltimore Bayview CIADM offers the capacity to produce tens to hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine annually depending on the platform technology used. Emergent continues to be in discussions with fellow innovators about how the company can help advance their development and manufacturing programs.