BARDA Announces $500 Million Project NextGen Funding for Novel COVID-19 Vaccines

June 18, 2024
BARDA is investing in Phase 2b clinical trials for intranasal and oral COVID-19 vaccines, aiming to provide needle-free, mucosal immune response-inducing options.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is announcing up to $500 million in Project NextGen funding to “plan and execute multiple Phase 2b clinical trials evaluating novel vaccines administered as a nasal spray or as a pill to protect against symptomatic COVID-19.” HHS's website has the release.

The three companies receiving money from the project are Vaxart ($453 million), Castlevax ($34 million), and Cyanvac ($40 million). Vaxart is developing an oral pill vaccine candidate, and the latter two companies are developing an intranasal vaccine candidate.

Currently approved COVID-19 vaccines, administered intramuscularly, are extremely effective but “limited in their capacity to induce a robust immune response in mucosal areas such as the mouth, nose, and gut, where the SARS-CoV-2 virus first enters the body. Successful development of intranasal and oral vaccines would provide safe, effective, needle-free vaccines that are easier-to-administer options with the potential to improve vaccine access.”

Each of the clinical trials will recruit 10,000 volunteers, and the investigational vaccines’ efficacy will be compared to that of FDA-licensed vaccines.

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.