J&J Expands Manufacturing Capabilities for its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

By Contract Pharma Staff | 04.24.20

Inks deal with CDMO Emergent BioSolutions as part of its investment

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Emergent BioSolutions have formed a collaboration to support the manufacturing of J&J’s lead investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate. This is the first in a series of prospective global collaboration agreements designed to accelerate manufacturing of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and further the company's goal to supply more than one billion doses of the vaccine globally.
 
"We have set a high bar,” said Paul Stoffels, vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer, Johnson & Johnson. “Johnson & Johnson has committed to rapidly produce and supply more than one billion doses of a safe and effective vaccine globally. Our collaboration with Emergent is proof that we are moving quickly to deliver on that promise."
 
Under the terms of this manufacturing agreement, Johnson & Johnson is investing to expand drug substance capacity related to the vaccine candidate. Emergent will provide drug substance manufacturing services with its molecule-to-market CDMO offering, beginning in 2020, and will also reserve operations capacity to potentially support commercial manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine candidate leveraging Janssen's proven AdVac and PER.C6 technologies beginning in 2021.
 
J&J has already begun preparations for clinical vaccine production at its facility in Leiden, the Netherlands, with the aim of initiating Phase 1 human clinical studies of its vaccine candidate in September 2020.
 
Simultaneously, J&J says it is also aiming to rapidly scale up vaccine manufacturing capabilities globally, including increasing capacity in countries outside the U.S. The additional global capacity will assist in the rapid production of a vaccine and enable the supply of more than one billion doses of a safe and effective vaccine to people around the world.
 
The COVID-19 vaccine program leverages Janssen's AdVac and PER.C6 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 investigational Ebola vaccine and construct our RSV and HIV vaccine candidates which are in Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical development stages.
 
For more information on Johnson & Johnson's multi-pronged approach to combatting the pandemic, visit: www.jnj.com/coronavirus.