Johnson & Johnson stated Thursday it had reached a deal with Emergent BioSolutions to make use of its manufacturing facilities to assist in an effort to make more than 1 billion doses of a vaccine it’s testing to contain the novel coronavirus.
The U.S. healthcare conglomerate stated the agreement was the first in a series of potential global collaborations to speed up the manufacturing of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate, even before it has a sign that it works.
J&J plans to start human testing by September, with an eye on having it prepared below an emergency use authorization in early 2021, far quicker than the typical 18-month period that it requires for vaccines to be tested, approved, and then produced.
Under the contract, worth around $135 million, Emergent stated it would provide drug substance manufacturing services and was reserving large-scale manufacturing capability.
J&J and the U.S. government are investing $1 billion to create enough manufacturing capability for the experimental vaccine candidate to cease the coronavirus that has killed almost 185,000 people across the globe.