J&J reaches $1B Covid-19 vax deal with US

Global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson has reached a $1 billion deal with the US government for manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine that is being tested.

The US government may also purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, under a subsequent agreement, the company said on Wednesday.

“We greatly appreciate the US government’s confidence in, and support for, our R&D platform and efforts and the scalability of our vaccine technology,” Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement.

“We are scaling up production in the US and worldwide to deliver a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for emergency use,” Stoffels said.

Based on the positive preclinical data recently published in the peer reviewed journal Nature, early stage clinical trial of the vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S, is underway in healthy volunteers in the US and Belgium.

The company is evaluating one- and two-dose regimens, in its clinical programme.

Johnson & Johnson said it aims to meet its goal to supply more than one billion doses globally through the course of 2021, provided the vaccine is safe and effective.

J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine programme is leveraging Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies’ (Janssen) adenovector technology that provides the ability to rapidly develop new vaccine candidates.

It is planning to start a Phase-3 clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine ahead of its original schedule, potentially in late September.

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