The Road to a Vaccine
"Our goal is to ensure we can deliver a vaccine to the world and protect people everywhere from this pandemic"
Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson
In January 2020, Johnson & Johnson announced that it's Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies would work closely with multiple global partners to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic through development of a vaccine candidate as a priority and screening a library of compounds to determine whether previously tested medicines can be used to help patients survive COVID-19.
In March 2020, it was announced that a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate had been identified (with two back-ups) from constructs that the Company had been working on since January. In addition, Johnson & Johnson announced the significant expansion of its landmark partnership between the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); as well as 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."
In June 2020, an acceleration of the Phase 1/2a first-in-human clinical trial of an investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was announced. Initially scheduled to begin in September, the trial is now expected to commence in the second half of July with the Company anticipating the first batches of a COVID-19 vaccine to be potentially available for emergency use authorisation in early 2021; a substantially accelerated timeframe in comparison to the typical vaccine development process.
Given the urgency of this public health crisis, Johnson & Johnson is also expanding the Company’s global manufacturing capacity to assist in the rapid production of a vaccine which 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.
Our Expertise in Pandemics
Our vaccine development programme leverages Janssen’s AdVac® technology that provides the ability to rapidly upscale production of the optimal vaccine candidate.
This is the same technology that is used in the development and manufacturing of our investigational Ebola vaccine, which is currently deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, and were also used to construct our Zika, RSV and HIV vaccine candidates.
Johnson & Johnson is collaborating with governments, regulators, healthcare organisations, institutions and communities worldwide to help ensure our research platforms, existing science and outbreak expertise can be maximised to help stem this pandemic.
Through a landmark new partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. 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. In addition to the vaccine development efforts, BARDA and Johnson & Johnson have also expanded their partnership to accelerate Janssen’s ongoing work in screening compound libraries, including compounds from other pharmaceutical companies.
In the UK specifically, we are committed to supporting our existing partners and front line health workers during this pandemic.