Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Federal government cancels COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer’s multimillion-dollar deal


The federal government has canceled a multimillion-dollar deal with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions after its facilities were found to have produced millions of contaminated Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses. 

Emergent, which is based in Maryland, announced the news in an SEC filing on Thursday.

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The company said it would lose about $180 million due to the contract’s termination. The deal, signed last year, was worth $628 million.

Shares of Emergent tumbled on the news and were down more than 41% on Friday afternoon.

SHEPHERDSVILLE, KENTUCKY - MARCH 01:   Doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is packaged in a box at the McKesson facility on March 1, 2021 in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. 

SHEPHERDSVILLE, KENTUCKY – MARCH 01:   Doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is packaged in a box at the McKesson facility on March 1, 2021 in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. 
(Photo by Timothy D. Easley-Pool/Getty Images)

Production issues for Emergent began earlier this year, after winning a contract from the Trump administration. 

In March, 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were contaminated by ingredients intended for use in producing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine shots at the Emergent plant in Baltimore, leading to a months-long delay in production. 

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The company’s shares fell nearly 14% after the news of the ruined doses broke on March 31.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to discard around 60 million additional doses also produced at the facility.

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The FDA has repeatedly cited Emergent for other problems as well, including cracked vials, inadequate training and mold.

The contractor said that it was expected to continue supporting Johnson & Johnson out of its Bayview site, Reuters reported.

Fox Business’ Megan Henney and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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