US replaces head of agency overseeing coronavirus drugs, vaccines

Under Bright's leadership, BARDA recently announced nearly $1 billion in support of vaccine manufacturing efforts by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Medical staff, wearing protective suits and face masks, work in an intensive care unit for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at the Franco-Britannique hospital in Levallois-Perret near Paris as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues in France, April 15, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Medical staff, wearing protective suits and face masks, work in an intensive care unit for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at the Franco-Britannique hospital in Levallois-Perret near Paris as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues in France, April 15, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday it has replaced Rick Bright as director of a key U.S. agency charged with developing drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.
Bright, who was director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) since 2016, has been moved to a new public-private partnership under the National Institutes of Health announced last week, according to a Health and Human Services representative. BARDA serves under the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
Under Bright's leadership, BARDA recently announced nearly $1 billion in support of vaccine manufacturing efforts by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
Bright, an expert in vaccines and therapeutics, will be replaced by Gary Disbrow, his former deputy, who will serve as acting director of BARDA. The change was first reported by STAT news.