New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson announced a collaboration between the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. to support the manufacturing of its lead investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate. This is the first in a series of prospective global collaboration agreements designed to accelerate manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and further the company’s goal to supply more than one billion doses of the vaccine globally.
Paul Stoffels, M.D., vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer, Johnson & Johnson, said, “We have set a high bar. Johnson & Johnson has committed to rapidly produce and supply more than one billion doses of a safe and effective vaccine globally. Our collaboration with Emergent is proof that we are moving quickly to deliver on that promise.”
Under the terms of this manufacturing agreement, Johnson & Johnson is investing to expand drug substance capacity related to the vaccine candidate. Emergent will provide drug substance manufacturing services with its molecule-to-market CDMO offering, beginning in 2020, and will also reserve operations capacity to potentially support commercial manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate leveraging Janssen’s proven AdVac® and PER.C6® technologies beginning in 2021.
The company has already begun preparations for clinical vaccine production at its facility in Leiden, the Netherlands, with the aim of initiating Phase 1 human clinical studies of its vaccine candidate in September 2020. Johnson & Johnson will begin production at risk and is committed to bringing an affordable vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use.
Simultaneously, Johnson & Johnson is also aiming to rapidly scale up vaccine manufacturing capabilities globally, including increasing capacity in countries outside the U.S. The additional global capacity will assist in the rapid production of a vaccine and enable the supply of more than one billion doses of a safe and effective vaccine to people around the world.
For more than 20 years, Johnson & Johnson has invested billions of dollars in antivirals and vaccine capabilities. The COVID-19 vaccine program leverages Janssen’s proven AdVac® and PER.C6® technologies that provide the ability to rapidly develop new vaccine candidates and upscale production of the optimal vaccine candidate. The same technology was used to develop and manufacture the company’s investigational Ebola vaccine and construct our RSV and HIV vaccine candidates which are in Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical development stages.
COVID-19 belongs to a group of viruses called coronaviruses that attack the respiratory system. There is currently no approved vaccine, treatment or cure for COVID-19.
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