HHS announces leadership team for Operation Warp Speed

HHS May 15 outlined who will lead the government's Operation Warp Speed, a program designed to drastically reduce the time it takes to get a COVID-19 vaccine to U.S. residents. 

The agency confirmed that Moncef Slaoui, PhD, the former head of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine division, will lead Operation Warp Speed as chief adviser. 

Army Gen. Gustave Perna, in charge of the Army Materiel Command, will be the COO. 

HHS also announced the following leadership appointments: 

  • Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the FDA's center for biologics and evaluation research, will lead the department of vaccines.

  • Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA's center for drug evaluation and research, will lead the therapeutics department.

  • Bruce Tromberg, PhD, director of the National Institute of Health's Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, will oversee the diagnostics department.

  • Sean Biggerstaff, PhD, acting director for research and development at the Defense Health Agency will serve as a subject matter expert on therapeutics.

  • Matt Hepburn, MD, joint project lead for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense department will serve as a subject matter expert on vaccines.

  • Stacy Cummings, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for acquisition enablers, will serve as a subject matter expert on production and distribution.
  • Andrew Kilianski, chief intelligence officer for the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense department, will serve as a subject matter expert on security and assistance.

Operation Warp Speed aims to have a "substantial quantity" of a vaccine available by January 2021. 

The program is a collaboration between HHS, the U.S. Defense Department, private firms and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Energy Department  and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read HHS' full news release here.

More articles on pharmacy:
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How Civica Rx has responded to drug shortages caused by COVID-19

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