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Financier and philanthropist Michael Milken expressed optimism about finding a coronavirus vaccine and predicted there could be millions of doses of a potential vaccine this year, in part thanks to funding from the government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
"One of the first companies to put a vaccine into a human being occurred March 16. The company was Moderna," Milken told "Mornings with Maria," adding that BARDA committed $483 million to Moderna to scale up production.
Thanks to BARDA's investment, Moderna said it would be "able to supply millions of doses per month in 2020 and with further investments, tens of millions per month in 2021" if its vaccine candidate is successful.
Milken, a cancer survivor and founder of the Milken Institue, said he has interacted with more than 100 biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the past two months about their advancements in the coronavirus fight. His organization has a publicly available COVID treatment and vaccine tracker.
Milken has also been in conversation with many leading companies about responses to the coronavirus crisis, including working behind the scenes to persuade executives at online retail giant Amazon to deliver coronavirus tests to every American for free.