Country for PR: United States
Contributor: PR Newswire New York
Monday, March 30 2020 - 23:12
Johnson & Johnson Announces a Lead Vaccine Candidate for COVID-19; Landmark New Partnership with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; and Commitment to Supply One Billion Vaccines Worldwide for Emergency Pandemic Use
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey, March 30, 2020 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

- Johnson & Johnson and BARDA Together Commit More than $1 Billion to Novel 
Coronavirus Vaccine Research and Development; Company Expects to Initiate Phase 
1 Human Clinical Studies of Vaccine Candidate at Latest by September 2020 

- Johnson & Johnson Will Establish New U.S. Vaccine Manufacturing Capabilities 
and Additional Production Capacity Outside the U.S. to Begin Production at Risk 
to Help Ensure Global Vaccine Supply

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (the Company) today announced 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 Biomedical 
Advanced Research and Development Authority (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 
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. 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.  

As part of its commitment, Johnson & Johnson is also expanding the Company's 
global manufacturing capacity, including through the establishment of new U.S. 
vaccine manufacturing capabilities 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."  

Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief 
Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson, said, "We greatly value the U.S. 
government's confidence and support for our R&D efforts. Johnson & Johnson's 
global team of experts has ramped up our research and development processes to 
unprecedented levels, and our teams are working tirelessly alongside BARDA, 
scientific partners, and global health authorities. We are very pleased to have 
identified a lead vaccine candidate from the constructs we have been working on 
since January. We are moving on an accelerated timeline toward Phase 1 human 
clinical trials at the latest by September 2020 and, supported by the global 
production capability that we are scaling up in parallel to this testing, we 
expect a vaccine could be ready for emergency use in early 2021."

Johnson & Johnson's Lead COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

Johnson & Johnson began efforts in January 2020, as soon as the novel 
coronavirus (COVID-19) sequence became available, to research potential vaccine 
candidates. Research teams at Janssen, in collaboration with Beth Israel 
Deaconess Medical Center, part of Harvard Medical School, constructed and 
tested multiple vaccine candidates using the Janssen AdVac(R) technology ( 

Through collaborations with scientists at multiple academic institutions, the 
vaccine constructs were then tested to identify those with the most promise in 
producing an immune response in preclinical testing. 

Based on this work, Johnson & Johnson has identified a lead COVID-19 vaccine 
candidate (with two back-ups), which will progress into the first manufacturing 
steps. Under an accelerated timeline, the Company is aiming to initiate a Phase 
1 clinical study in September 2020, with clinical data on safety and efficacy 
expected to be available by the end of the year. This could allow vaccine 
availability for emergency use in early 2021. For comparison, the typical 
vaccine development process involves a number of different research stages, 
spanning 5 to 7 years, before a candidate is even considered for approval.

For more than 20 years, Johnson & Johnson has invested billions of dollars in 
antivirals and vaccine capabilities. The COVID-19 vaccine program is leveraging 
Janssen's proven AdVac(R) and PER.C6(R) technologies ( 
) that provide the ability to rapidly develop new vaccine candidates and 
upscale production of the optimal vaccine candidate. The same technology was 
used to develop and manufacture the Company's Ebola vaccine and construct our 
Zika, RSV, and HIV vaccine candidates which are in Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical 
development stages. 

Expanded Antiviral Research  

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. The Company's aim is to identify potential treatments against the 
novel coronavirus. Johnson & Johnson and BARDA are both providing funding as 
part of this partnership. These antiviral screening efforts are being conducted 
in partnership with the Rega Institute for Medical Research (KU 
Leuven/University of Leuven), in Belgium. 

As announced in February 2020, the Company and BARDA have been working closely 
with global partners to screen Janssen's library of antiviral molecules to 
accelerate the discovery of potential COVID-19 treatments.

COVID-19 belongs to a group of viruses called coronaviruses that attack the 
respiratory system. There is currently no approved vaccine, treatment or cure 
for COVID-19.

For more information on Johnson & Johnson's multi-pronged approach to 
combatting the pandemic, visit:

About Johnson & Johnson
At Johnson & Johnson, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant 
lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That's why for more than 130 
years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life. 
Today, as the world's largest and most broadly-based healthcare company, we are 
committed to using our reach and size for good. We strive to improve access and 
affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and 
environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. We are blending our heart, 
science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for 
humanity. Learn more at Follow us at @JNJNews ( 

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies

At Janssen, we're creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We're 
the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make 
that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with 
science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. 
We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: 
Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, 
Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension. Learn more at Follow us at @JanssenGlobal ( 

Notice to Investors Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the 
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding development of 
potential preventive and treatment regimens for COVID-19. The reader is 
cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are 
based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove 
inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual 
results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of the 
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and 
uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges and uncertainties 
inherent in product research and development, including the uncertainty of 
clinical success and of obtaining regulatory approvals; uncertainty of 
commercial success; manufacturing difficulties and delays; competition, 
including technological advances, new products and patents attained by 
competitors; challenges to patents; product efficacy or safety concerns 
resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes in behavior and 
spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; changes 
to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; and 
trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of 
these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & 
Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 29, 
2019, including in the sections captioned "Cautionary Note Regarding 
Forward-Looking Statements" and "Item 1A. Risk Factors," and in the company's 
most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and the company's subsequent 
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings 
are available online at, or on request from Johnson & 
Johnson. None of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson 
undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new 
information or future events or developments.

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SOURCE Johnson & Johnson

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