Johnson & Johnson has selected a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and two backup candidates, and is rapidly scaling its manufacturing capacity with the goal of providing a global supply of more than 1 billion vaccine doses.
The company expects to initiate human clinical studies of its lead vaccine candidate by September 2020 and anticipates the first batches of a COVID-19 vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.
It noted that the typical vaccine development process spans five to seven years before a candidate is even considered for approval.
As part of this, Johnson & Johnson has significantly expanded its existing partnership with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
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 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 Johnson & Johnson have provided additional funding that will enable expansion of their ongoing work to identify potential antiviral treatments against the novel coronavirus.
Johnson & Johnson is expanding its 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 1 billion doses of a safe and effective vaccine globally. The company plans to begin production at risk imminently and has committed to bringing an affordable vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use.