Johnson & Johnson has announced the selection of a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate and the rapid scaling of its manufacturing capacity with the goal of providing global supply of more than one billion doses. The company expects to initiate Phase 1 human clinical studies by September 2020 at the latest and anticipates the first batches of vaccine to be available for emergency use in early 2021 – a substantially accelerated timeframe in comparison to the typical vaccine development process.
Through a landmark new partnership, BARDA, which is part of 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 together have committed more than $1 billion of investment to co-fund vaccine research, development, and clinical testing.
As part of its commitment, Johnson & Johnson is also expanding the company’s global manufacturing capacity, including through the establishment of a new US manufacturing site 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. The company 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.
Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson, said, “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. 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.”