World

J&J forges $1-billion pact with US for Covid vaccine supply

Bloomberg August 6 | Updated on August 06, 2020 Published on August 06, 2020

To manufacture and deliver its SARS-CoV-2 investigational vaccine in the US

Johnson & Johnson said it has agreed to supply 100 million doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine to the US for more than $1 billion, the latest in a string of such pacts between the government and pharmaceutical companies.

Under the agreement, J&J will manufacture and deliver its SARS-CoV-2 investigational vaccine in the US, according to a statement by the health-care giant on Wednesday. The J&J vaccine is expected to go into late-stage trials in September.

The US government recently forged a series of deals with companies, including Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, to secure access to the vaccine. The J&J pact follows release of a study showing the companys candidate vaccine generated a strong antibody response in primates, and provided protection with a single dose.

The primate data is a positive development for J&J, providing a competitive advantage against other vaccines that are further along in testing but require two doses over time.

Additional doses

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, in collaboration with the US Department of Defense, may also acquire added doses sufficient to vaccinate 300 million people under a subsequent agreement, the government said in a separate statement.

If the shot proves successful in the clinic and the US launches a nationwide pandemic vaccination campaign, it would be made available to Americans at no cost, and delivered at government-designated locations across the country, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Health-care providers, though, could charge for administering the shot, the statement said.

The $1-billion-plus effort to supply the US with J&Js Covid-19 vaccine will also rely on US manufacturing facilities known as fill-finish sites, where doses are packaged into sterile dispensers, allowing them to be shipped more quickly, according to HHS.

J&J has already received a $456 million award from the departments BARDA unit for its research and development efforts, which focus on technology based on the human adenovirus, a type of common cold virus.

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Published on August 06, 2020
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