June 21, 2024

The US is close to an agreement on funding for moderna bird flu vaccine trials, the FT reports

The Financial Times reported Thursday that the U.S. government is nearing a deal to fund late-stage testing of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine against pandemic bird flu, an outbreak of H5N1 spread through egg farms and livestock.

Government funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) could come as soon as next month, and would include a commitment to buy vaccine doses if phase III trials prove successful, the report said.

The funding is expected to be in the tens of thousands of dollars and could come with a commitment to purchase doses if Phase III trials are successful, the report said.

Moderna and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The US, Canada and Europe are in active discussions with companies such as CSL Seqirus and GSK to develop H5N1 avian flu vaccines to protect at-risk poultry and dairy farmers, veterinarians and laboratory technicians.

Last week, the second human case of bird flu was confirmed in the United States since the virus was first detected in dairy cows in late March.

Avian flu has raised concerns because it spreads to mammals. The first outbreak was detected in dairy cows in the United States, raising concerns that the disease could be transmitted to humans through the nation’s milk supply.

As of 2022, bird flu has infected more than 90 million chickens, 9,000 wild birds, 52 dairy herds and three people in the country.

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