Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has decided to produce over 1 billion doses of vaccine for COVID-19 by teaming up with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the US. It is an extension of the existing accord between the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies division of Johnson & Johnson and BARDA.
The first batch of affordable vaccines by early 2021
Johnson & Johnson expects to release the first batch of vaccines for emergency use by early 2021. The company will engage in R&D of potential antiviral treatments in alliance with BARDA besides developing an economical vaccine for the coronavirus disease. They are also engaged in developing vaccines in Belgium in partnership with Rega Institute for Medical Research.
Expands production capacity worldwide
Johnson & Johnson decided to expand the manufacturing capacity in the US and across the world. This initiative helps the company to produce vaccines on a large scale to provide to the general public to get rid of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Janssen Pharmaceutical already began the research in January this year together with the teams of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to find potential vaccine candidates. They have already tested these vaccine candidates at many academic institutions. It helped to identify a lead vaccine candidate for COVID-19 along with two potential backups.
Another pharmaceutical company – Modema Health last week said it is working on a potential vaccine and expect to release a trial version this fall for the healthcare workers. The company uses messenger RNA in its vaccine to inoculate against coronavirus. However, it doesn’t expose the recipients to the dangerous coronavirus. They will not contract the disease during the treatment. Modema Health last week conducted a phase 1 clinical trial using the new vaccine on volunteers in Washington.
Small startups and drug makers step up efforts
Several startups and drug makers have stepped up efforts to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. BioNTech, a company based in Germany, and Pfizer, a US-based drugmaker, have agreed to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 jointly. They will finalize the development and manufacturing terms and commercialization details in the next few weeks. On Monday, BioNTech signed a deal with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical to commence clinical trials on humans in China.