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Addressing Pathogens of Global Concern

Pathogens of Global Concern

Dedicated to advancing human health with potentially transformational vaccines

Infectious Diseases & Vaccines

Infectious Diseases & Vaccines

The structure of HIV
The structure of HIV

Infectious diseases pose a significant and rising threat to humankind and will continue to spread more easily in the future due to globalization, population growth and aging, antimicrobial resistance, increasing travel, the development of megacities and climate change.

At Janssen, we are dedicated to improving the health of humanity by developing potentially transformational therapeutics and vaccines to prevent and intercept life-threatening infectious diseases. Our visionary leadership, cutting-edge technologies and strategic collaborations are the driving force behind our promising research and development pipeline.


Extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) strains are an important cause of life-threatening bacterial illness such as sepsis in the elderly. We have launched a program in partnership with GlycoVaxyn of Switzerland to design and develop a vaccine aimed at protecting against the major ExPEC serotypes.


Since 2014, in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, we have mobilized significant resources and expertise collaborating with global health stakeholders to advance a heterologous prime-boost vaccine regimen with the goal of saving lives and protecting the health of those at risk of being infected with Ebola. Ebola, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, and often fatal illness in humans. Having access to a safe and effective vaccine will be critical to help protect communities in the event of a future outbreak. As a leading global health care company, we are committed to doing all we can to prevent pandemic disease threats such as Ebola. Learn more about our response to Ebola.

A microscopic view of the Ebola virus


During the Zika epidemic in Northern eastern Brazil and the Americas in 2015, the largest outbreak ever registered with more than 750,000 cases, the Zika virus was linked to severe cases of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities in infants born to mothers infected during pregnancy for the first time.1 Zika is usually associated with mild fever, rash and conjunctivitis in around 20 percent of cases.1

A 3-D view of Zika virus structure

In response, we are working on several fronts to combat the virus including training healthcare workers in six priority regions with the highest concentration of infections, supporting government efforts to prevent further infection by engaging pharmacy workers on ways to identify symptoms and reduce transmission rates, and researching the best long-term solution to eliminate Zika by accelerating the development of an Ad26-based vaccine – there is no vaccine or treatment currently available. In addition to our own research, we are also supporting the research of others to bring forward preventive and diagnostic solutions – both of which are essential for stemming a public health outbreak like this in future. Learn more about our response to Zika.


The World Health Organization's (WHO) plan for a polio-free world depends on the availability of inactivated poliovirus vaccines (IPV). We are developing a PER.C6®-based IPV to help eradicate polio. Our candidate has the potential to be a key pillar in ensuring that the ambitions of stopping polio, first discovered in 1938, are ultimately successful. This is a rare opportunity to be directly involved with a tangible public health intervention that positively impacts directly on the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Polio eradication now appears more likely than ever and assuming success, it will be one of the few cases in which a significant health burden has been eliminated.


Dengue, also known as breakbone fever, is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes and is endemic to almost all tropical and subtropical areas of the world. The disease causes flu-like symptoms, which in some cases can become life-threatening. Janssen joined with the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation, and the University of Leuven in Belgium for the development of antiviral medicines to fight dengue.

A microscopic view of the Dengue virus

Extra-intestinal pathogenic E.coli (ExPEC)

Extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) strains are an important cause of life-threatening bacterial illness such as sepsis in the elderly which are becoming increasing difficult to treat due to resistance to multiple antibiotics. We have launched a program in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to design and develop a vaccine aimed at protecting against the most prevalent ExPEC serotypes.

A microscopic view of an E.coli bacteria colony

Human papilloma virus (HPV)

High-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It can lead to cervical, vulvar, vaginal, anal, penile and oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancers. Approximately 5% of all cancers worldwide are caused by HPV. We are collaborating with Bavarian Nordic to develop and commercialize a heterologous prime-boost vaccine regimen together with the aim of developing a heterologous prime-boost therapeutic vaccine to treat chronic HPV infections and prevent progression to cancer.

A microscopic view of the human papilloma virus.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)

Infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or 2 is the cause of genital herpes, with HSV-2 being the major contributor to recurrent outbreaks of painful genital lesions. Although most individuals infected with HSV-2 have minimal signs of infection, in some, this life-long disease can cause life-threatening complications. Individuals asymptomatically infected with HSV-2 can also continue to transmit the virus making its containment at the public health level extremely challenging. Direct-acting antiviral agents offer limited efficacy benefit in managing the incidence and severity of genital herpes outbreaks and limited benefit in prevention of viral shedding and spread of infection. There is currently no available cure or vaccine for HSV infection. We are currently investigating a vaccine that could potentially address current unmet need, improve quality of life and prevent herpes.

A microscopic view of the herpes simplex virus

Methicillin-Resistant S.aureus (MRSA)

Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is a leading cause of serious hospital-acquired infections. The initial site of infection is usually the skin or soft tissues following surgery or medical device or catheter implantation, but staphylococcal infections can spread to the bloodstream (bacteraemia), joints, bones, lungs and heart. We have a vision that in addition to hygiene bundles and antibiotics, preventive vaccines will become standard of care to control nonsocomial infections linked to increasing numbers of invasive surgical procedures in an aging population. Thanks to recent scientific breakthrough efforts, we aim to develop a vaccine with the ability to neutralize a number of recently identified key virulence mechanisms linked to S. aureus invasive disease in elective surgery patients, being equally efficacious against MRSA and MRSA-related disease.

A microscopic view of MRSA


1 Picchio, Gaston. Prevention of Zika Disease in Children and Adult Males and Females. eCDTL.