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Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

Infectious Diseases and Vaccines
 Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

Many of us have felt the consequences of infectious diseases, whether personally, through a family member or as a community. Diseases such as HIV, Ebola, hepatitis B, RSV and COVID-19 are now part of our reality – but at Janssen we are committed to halting the spread of these diseases and reducing the burdens they place on you, your loved ones and global health systems.

Dedicated to fighting infectious diseases with the broadest impact on human health

We have an ambitious goal: to ensure a future where we can prevent the spread of infectious diseases and eliminate the burden they place on global health.

Infectious diseases are one of the greatest threats to mankind – evolving, spreading and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. This has never been more apparent than with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a major global public health crisis, affecting billions of people, directly or indirectly, worldwide. All of these factors show that the world urgently needs solutions to help combat infectious diseases.

Our efforts are focused on tackling the most complex infectious diseases, finding the right paths of intervention and making sure they reach those in need. We have an ambitious goal — to ensure a future where we can prevent the spread of infectious diseases and eliminate the burden they place on global health.  

Our work in Infectious Diseases

Our Disease Areas of Focus


Fourty years after the first diagnosis, science has transformed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from an acute fatal illness to a manageable, chronic condition.1

Despite the significant progress made, HIV remains one of the greatest global health threats of our time.

The stigma of HIV also plays a major role in the continuation of this crisis, affecting diagnosis, care and the emotional well-being of those living with the disease. Of the estimated 105,200 people living with HIV in the UK in 2019, ~6,600 did not know they are HIV positive.2

Building on our 25-year commitment to ’Make HIV History’, we aim to change the course of the HIV pandemic. We are passionate about continuing the fight and we believe education and empowerment could help those affected by HIV live their best lives. Our expertise and collaborations position us to lead the way.

Respiratory Infections 

The short- and long-term harm that respiratory infections, such as COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza, can inflict has never been clearer. At Janssen, we have a deep heritage of caring for those affected by respiratory infections and we’re committed to understanding these diseases so that we can both prevent infection and reduce symptoms for generations to come.

We are working tirelessly to help those with respiratory infections, including COVID-19, RSV, and influenza, where innovative treatment and prevention approaches are urgently needed.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a virus called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.3 The pandemic has affected billions of people worldwide through loss of life and jobs, with tens of millions of people at risk of falling into extreme poverty.4

The WHO has recognised vaccines as one way out of this global crisis.5 And as always, at Janssen we are committed to putting the needs and well-being of the people we serve first.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) 

RSV is a highly prevalent and contagious seasonal viral disease. For people who are at risk of more severe respiratory disease, RSV infection can cause pneumonia and can even be fatal.6 It is a leading cause of bronchitis and pneumonia in children. With no preventive vaccine or effective antiviral treatment available, RSV is a significant health and economic burden globally.7

RSV affects more than 600,000 children, adolescents and older adults aged 60+ years each year in the UK,8,9 and many infections are thought to be undiagnosed, so this figure could be significantly higher.6

Hepatitis B 

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is a major global health problem. It can cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.

An estimated 180,000 people live with hepatitis B in the UK, resulting in about 56,000 deaths each year.10 Most people only discover they have hepatitis B after developing advanced disease.11

Stigma is a major barrier to successful prevention, diagnosis and treatment for hepatitis B, but this is often unrecognised and unaddressed.13 It is essential to our research to address feelings of exclusion, isolation and blame as they can impact patients’ treatment decisions and adherence.

Pathogens of Global Concern 

We are dedicated to improving the health of humanity through research and collaborations which can enable a fast and efficient response to global health crises by outbreaks of pathogens such as Ebola.

Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterial infection, which most often affects the lungs. 25% of the world’s population is currently infected with the bacteria that cause TB, and anyone infected has a 10% chance of suffering from TB during their lifetime.13 Although TB is curable and preventable, without proper treatment up to two-thirds of people who develop active TB may die.14

For nearly 20 years, Janssen has been supporting global efforts to end TB and combat antimicrobial resistance – both in our laboratories and on the ground in countries impacted by TB and MDR-TB.

Bacterial Infections

Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or staph) are the two leading causes worldwide of invasive bacteraemia (presence of bacteria in the blood) and septicaemia (a life-threatening, uncontrolled inflammatory response to infection that may lead to organ failure and death), posing a serious threat to older adults with weakening immune systems.

Bacteria may develop antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or multidrug resistance (MDR), significantly increasing the severity of the infections, morbidity and mortality rates.15,16 AMR is one of the top ten threats to global health, according to the World Health Organization,17 and is estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year globally.18

In the fight against treatment resistance, both vaccines and therapeutics have a vital role to play, alongside the development of new antibiotics, better diagnostics and coordinated strategies to improve the use of antibiotics.19,20

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11. World Health Organization. Hepatitis B Key facts. Available at: Last accessed: May 2022.
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17. World Health Organization. Antimicrobial resistance. Available at: Last accessed: May 2022.
18. HM Government. Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019-2024 – The UK’s five-year national action plan. Available at: Last accessed: May 2022.
19. Review on antimicrobial resistance. Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: Final report and recommendations. Available at: Last accessed: May 2022.
20. World Health Organization. Antibiotic resistance. Available at: Last accessed May 2022.

CP-322382 | June 2022