Emergent BioSolutions initially hid that it was experiencing quality control issues from federal regulators, the New York Times reports.
Last year, the company, which had a government contract to produce SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, reported that it had to destroy millions of doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines made at its Baltimore plant because of contamination. The Times reported then that the plant had a history of errors. The Wall Street Journal further noted a US Food and Drug Administration inspection found that the plant was not kept "in a clean and sanitary condition" and that there was cross-contamination between materials used for producing different vaccines.
According to the Times, newly released documents indicate that executives at Emergent were aware of quality control problems at the facility six weeks before the company alerted federal officials. Further, it says that company employees removed tags from containers holding a vaccine batch with suspected quality issues when FDA officials visited, then replaced the tags after the inspectors left.
The documents also said 400 million doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines had to be destroyed, more than previously thought, the Times adds.
The US canceled its $628 million deal with Emergent in late 2021.