US bets on small, untested company to deliver COVID vaccine - (This is Money via NewsPoints Desk)

  • As part of its strategy to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, when approved, as quickly as possible, the US government has agreed to invest more than half a billion in tax dollars in ApiJect Systems America, as reported This is Money on Friday.

  • The company has developed an injector, which is not approved by the FDA, but has not yet set up a factory to manufacture the device.

  • ApiJect CEO Jay Walker said that "it would be crazy for people to just rely on us," adding that "we should be America's backup at this point, but probably not its primary."

  • The government promised ApiJect, which has made about 1000 prototypes to date, $138 million to produce 100 million of its devices by the end of the year, along with a further $456 million to bring online several new factories to make another 500 million devices.

  • Becton Dickinson recently announced the first US order of $11.7 million for 50 million needles and syringes by the end of this year, and Retractable recently entered into a second contract with the government for $53 million meant to boost domestic manufacturing.

  • ApiJect's devices are self-contained, with soft plastic blisters that are squeezed, to push the vaccine through an attached needle and into the patient, and the company said that it plans to pour vaccine doses into the warm plastic blisters as they come off the production line.

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