Emergent BioSolutions leaders to testify before Congress

Two top executives at Emergent BioSolutions have agreed to testify on Capitol Hill as a congressional panel investigates the company's COVID-19 vaccine contracts, The New York Times reported May 12.  

Fuad El-Hibri, Emergent's founder and executive chairman, and Robert Kramer, the CEO, will appear May 19 before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus. The panel is investigating Emergent's manufacturing failures and whether it used its contacts with the Trump administration to land hundreds of millions of dollars in COVID-19 vaccine contracts, according to the Times

The FDA has cited a number of concerns with Emergent's manufacturing plant, where 15 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses had to be thrown out after ingredients for it were mixed up with ingredients for AstraZeneca's vaccine. 

"Emergent's actions wasted American taxpayer dollars and reduced the number of doses available for global vaccination efforts," Rep. Jim Clyburn, D- S.C., and the subcommittee's chairman, told the Times

Emergent released a statement May 12 saying the company has responded to the FDA's concerns with a "comprehensive quality enhancement plan." 

"We have already started making improvements, and we are fully committed to making the necessary short- and long-term enhancements to meet or exceed FDA’s standards," the company said. 

Mr. Clyburn also said May 12 that the committee will scrutinize the two executives' market moves, according to the Times.

"They all made millions in stock transactions while they seem to be hiding stuff from the public," the congressman said.

In letters to the executives last month, Mr. Clyburn and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who is chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, demanded a slew of documents, including any correspondence between Emergent and Robert Kadlec, MD, former President Donald Trump's assistant secretary for preparedness and response, who had consulted for the company, the Times reported. 

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