Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is seeking to further expedite its investigational coronavirus vaccine program through an expanded collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The Company announced on March 30, 2020 the selection of a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate from constructs it has been working on since January 2020; the significant expansion of the existing partnership between the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and the BARDA; and 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. The Company expects to initiate human clinical studies of its lead vaccine candidate at the latest by September 2020 and anticipates the first batches of a COVID-19 vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization 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 the Office of the ASPR at HHS, and Johnson & Johnson together have committed more than $1 billion of investment to co-fund vaccine research, development, and clinical testing. Johnson & Johnson will use its validated vaccine platform and is allocating resources, including personnel and infrastructure globally, as needed, to focus on these efforts. Separately, BARDA and the Company have provided additional funding that will enable expansion of their ongoing work to identify potential antiviral treatments against the novel coronavirus.
Additionally, J&J initiated a review of known pathways in coronavirus pathophysiology to determine whether previously tested medicines can be used to help patients survive a COVID-19 infection and reduce the severity of disease in non-lethal cases. Johnson & Johnson has also announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies have entered a collaboration with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to support the development of a preventive vaccine candidate for COVID-19. The parties have commenced preclinical testing of multiple vaccine prospects, with the aim to identify by the end of the month a COVID-19 vaccine candidate for clinical trials.
In January 2020, Johnson & Johnson announced its support of frontline health workers through the Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation, committing $250M over 10 years. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation are increasing that commitment by $50M for immediate COVID-19 response, primarily focused on supporting frontline health workers. The company also has donated over $3.7M in personal protective equipment for frontline health workers, including goggles, protective suits and masks and made product donations to countries, including South Korea, China, Italy and more. To learn more, visit www.jnj.com/coronavirus.