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Johnson & Johnson says Covid-19 vaccine could be ready next year

DUBAI, March 30, 2020

Global healthcare major Johnson & Johnson said it aims to begin the clinical testing of its Covid-19 vaccine in humans by September and added that the first batches of the vaccine could be available for emergency use authorisation (EUA) early next year.

Johnson & Johnson said a landmark new partnership has been inked between its unit, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (Barda) on the rapid scaling of the company’s manufacturing capacity with the goal of providing global supply of more than one billion doses of a vaccine.

The company expects to initiate human clinical studies of its lead vaccine candidate at the latest by September and anticipates the first batches of a Covid-19 vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021, a substantially accelerated timeframe in comparison to the typical vaccine development process.

Johnson & Johnson began efforts in January 2020, as soon as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) sequence became available, to research potential vaccine candidates.

Research teams at Janssen, in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, part of Harvard Medical School, constructed and tested multiple vaccine candidates using the Janssen AdVac technology.

As per the deal, Barda, which is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the US Department of Health and Human Services, and Johnson & Johnson will together invest more than $1 billion for vaccine research, development, and clinical testing.

The company said it will use its validated vaccine platform and is allocating resources, including personnel and infrastructure globally, as needed, to focus on these efforts.

Separately, Barda and Johnson & Johnson have provided additional funding that will enable expansion of their ongoing work to identify potential antiviral treatments against the novel coronavirus.  

As part of its commitment, the top pharma giant is also expanding its global manufacturing capacity, including through the establishment of new US vaccine manufacturing capabilities and scaling up capacity in other countries.

The additional capacity will assist in the rapid production of a vaccine and will enable the supply of more than one billion doses of a safe and effective vaccine globally.

Johnson & Johnson plans to begin production at risk imminently and is committed to bringing an affordable vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use, said its top official.

"The world is facing an urgent public health crisis and we are committed to doing our part to make a Covid-19 vaccine available and affordable globally as quickly as possible," remarked its Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky.

"As the world’s largest healthcare company, we feel a deep responsibility to improve the health of people around the world every day. Johnson & Johnson is well positioned through our combination of scientific expertise, operational scale and financial strength to bring our resources in collaboration with others to accelerate the fight against this pandemic," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




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