Johnson & Johnson working on coronavirus vaccine

pharmafile | January 30, 2020 | News story | Business Services, Research and Development Chinese Coronavirus, Wuhan Coronavirus, Wuhan epidemic, coronavirus 

Johnson & Johnson has become the latest pharmaceutical company to begin work on a vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus.

They are utilising the same technologies used to make their Ebola vaccine which has been administered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Johnson & Johnson’s approach includes a review of known pathways in the coronavirus’s pathophysiology to determine which tested medicines can help patients survive the infection.

They have also donated 300 boxes of its HIV medication PREZCOBIX to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University. Another 50 boxes were sent to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They will use this to research further solutions to the coronavirus.

Paul Stoffels, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson, said: “J&J has a long-standing commitment to fight established and emerging epidemics and is supporting global efforts where we can make the greatest impact. We are collaborating with regulators, healthcare organizations, institutions and communities worldwide to help ensure our research platforms, existing science and outbreak expertise can be maximized to stem this public health threat. This latest outbreak of a novel pathogen once again reinforces the importance of investing in preparedness, surveillance and response to ensure the world remains ahead of potential pandemic threats.”

The vaccine program will utilise Janssen’s AdVac® and PER.C6® technologies that provide the ability to rapidly upscale production of the optimal vaccine candidate.

Several other companies are also developing vaccines, including Inovio, Novavax and Moderna, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations has promised to give $11 million to their research.

Conor Kavanagh


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