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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.

Go deeper

Melania Trump reveals son Barron had COVID-19, opens up about diagnosis

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

First lady Melania Trump disclosed on Wednesday that her 14-year-old son, Barron Trump, also tested positive for COVID-19 in a statement detailing her experiences with the virus. Barron exhibited no symptoms and has since tested negative.

The big picture: President Trump revealed that he and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 1. The president was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center the following day.

Oct 15, 2020 - World

European countries push to combat coronavirus second wave without lockdowns

Police conduct coronavirus regulations checks in Hamburg, Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced new measures Thursday, as the country reported a record number of new cases. Photo: Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images

Germany on Thursday became the latest European country to announce new restrictions this week amid record coronavirus case numbers. But governments are seeking to avoid a second round of nationwide lockdowns.

Why it matters: Widespread lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus have devastated economies around the world.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Oct 14, 2020 - Health

Predicting the spread of COVID-19 with smart thermometers

Kinsa's predictive map of COVID-19 outbreaks on Oct. 14, with flashing lights indicating states where cases are projected to rise. Credit: Kinsa

A company that makes internet-connected thermometers has shown success in predicting likely COVID-19 hot spots days or even weeks before case counts rise.

Why it matters: Even as the U.S. has ramped up coronavirus testing, too often we're still behind the pace of the virus. But connected, at-home diagnostics could give advance warning of when COVID-19 — or the next new virus — is about to strike.