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Major drug makers haven’t stepped up to manufacture NIH coronavirus vaccine, top U.S. health official says

WASHINGTON — No major pharmaceutical company has come forward to say it would manufacture a vaccine for the novel coronavirus currently being developed by the National Institutes of Health, a top U.S. official acknowledged Tuesday, a reality that he called “very difficult and very frustrating.”

The comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, highlight how challenging it could be to translate the NIH’s work, being undertaken in partnership with the biotech company Moderna Therapeutics, into a vaccine that could be marketed. Fauci described the circumstances as challenging. “Companies that have the skill to be able to do it are not going to just sit around and have a warm facility, ready to go for when you need it,” Fauci said, speaking on a panel Tuesday hosted by the Aspen Institute and moderated by STAT’s Helen Branswell.

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