SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

HHS awards $15 million for influenza vaccine development and GMP training

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced on October 23 that it awarded $15 million to two international organizations and two universities for influenza research.

The grants were awarded for the development of enhanced influenza vaccine capabilities in developing countries and for training on how to develop influenza vaccines for developing nations while still following Good Manufacturing Practices. The grants are the most recent investment toward influenza vaccine development by ASPR's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

"Making more vaccine available worldwide during pandemics makes everyone safer," BARDA Director Robin Robinson said. "By enhancing the manufacturing capacity in developing countries, we strengthen the overall global pandemic response capabilities and enhance America's health security."

The World Health Organization was one grant recipient; it received $10.5 million in support of its Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines targeted at influenza vaccine development for resource-absent countries.

The Program for Appropriate Technology in Health was also a BARDA grant recipient; it received $4.25 million for the development of specialized technical support to influenza vaccine manufacturers. PATH will be responsible for helping influenza vaccine production facilities troubleshoot and resolve issues, and will assist the clinical development of influenza vaccines.

Utah State University's Center for Integrated Biosystems in Logan and North Carolina State University's Biotechnology and Education Center in Raleigh also received grants. The universities received $125,000 each to conduct training programs on GMPs.

Since its inception in 2006, BARDA has provided approximately $50 million to the WHO's GAP program to support vaccine development in Brazil, Egypt, Romania, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Thailand.