U.S. based pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson is reportedly joining hands with the HHS’s (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority). Reports claim that the company aims to fund more than USD 1 billion in research and development activities pertaining to the vaccine for COVID-19 as well as antiviral treatment.
Incidentally, this partnership is an extension of an already signed agreement between Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies (a J&J division) and BARDA. Through this partnership, J&J aims to set a goal at over 1 billion doses of the vaccine on a worldwide level, which are expected to enter clinical trials by September 2020. The initial vaccine batches are likely to be available for emergency deployment by early 2021.
A statement by J&J claims that it is also highly committed toward global manufacturing capacity expansion, both in the U.S. and abroad. The statement also claimed that the additional production ability is likely to help the firm bring forth an affordable vaccine to the masses for emergency pandemic use.
BARDA’s partnership with J&J is inclusive of efforts to manufacture a vaccine as soon as possible. Sources familiar with the matter of the development also claim that these efforts encompass the development work that both these organizations are conducting along with the Rega Institute for Medical Research, Belgium.
Reliable reports claim that Janssen Pharmaceuticals, alongside Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (of the Harvard Medical School), had commenced its research in potential vaccine candidates, in January itself. The candidates had been tested across several academic institutions apparently, that resulted in the identification of a major vaccine candidate for COVID-19, along with two backups.
J&J of course, is not the sole company working toward developing a COVID-19 VACCINE. Another major pharma firm, Moderna Health, has also been working on a vaccine candidate. Sources say that the company may have an experimental level treatment for healthcare workers in the fall.