Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) recently announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. will collaborate with Emergent BioSolutions to support the manufacturing of its lead investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The New Brunswick, N.J.–based pharmaceutical and medical device giant described the deal as the first in a series of contract manufacturing agreements that it expects to ink as it seeks to eventually supply 1 billion doses of vaccine globally — starting in 2021.
“Our collaboration with Emergent is proof that we are moving quickly to deliver on that promise,” J&J’s chief scientific officer Dr. Paul Stoffels said in an April 23 news release.
Emergent will provide drug substance manufacturing services with its molecule-to-market CDMO offering.
J&J expects to kick off Phase 1 human clinical studies of its vaccine candidate in September 2020. The company said it will begin production at risk — with a commitment to provide an affordable vaccine on a not-for-profit basis for emergency use during the pandemic. Plans are underway for a rapid manufacturing scaleup once there’s a vaccine.