A Novavax researcher prepares to test the vaccine. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense have awarded $1.6 billion to Novavax and $450 million to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as part of the federal government's efforts to speed up the development of coronavirus treatments.

The bottom line: Federal scientists are holding out hope that these companies' treatments, along with other vaccines in development, will snuff out the spread of the coronavirus.

Details: Both awards are part of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed.

  • In exchange for the $1.6 billion, the federal government will own 100 million doses of Novavax's vaccine, which is still in early testing but has shown some promising immune system response.
  • The $450 million to Regeneron is for increased production of an antibody drug that is being tested as a way to both treat and prevent infection.
  • More information about whether these drugs are safe and effective will come out in the fall.

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