J&J inks $1B deal with HHS for 100M COVID-19 vaccine doses

Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceutical division is the latest biotech company to strike a deal with the U.S. government for millions of doses of a potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

The deal between Janssen and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, will see the Department of Health and Human Services pay more than $1 billion for 100 million doses of Janssen's investigational vaccine following approval or Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. The government also has the option to purchase an additional 200 million doses under a subsequent agreement. 

“Johnson & Johnson’s global team of experts has worked tirelessly alongside BARDA and scientific partners to pursue a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that can help to stop the spread of COVID-19," said Paul Stoffels, J&J executive committee vice chairman and chief scientific officer. "We greatly appreciate the U.S. government’s confidence in, and support for, our R&D platform and efforts and the scalability of our vaccine technology. We are scaling up production in the U.S. and worldwide to deliver a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for emergency use."

Based on the positive preclinical data recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, Janssen currently is undertaking the Phase 1/2a first-in-human clinical trial of the vaccine candidate in healthy volunteers in the United States and Belgium.

The company is evaluating one- and two-dose regimens, in its clinical program and working diligently to ensure broad, global access to the vaccine following approval or authorization by regulators. Johnson & Johnson aims to meet its goal to supply more than one billion doses globally through the course of 2021, provided the vaccine is safe and effective, the company said.

J&J's is the third deal that the government has struck with leading biotech companies working on a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The government has said it will pay Pfizer $2B deal for the first 100 million doses of its vaccine upon approval or Emergency Use Authorization, and has agreed to pay Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline $2.1 billion for the first 100 million doses of their vaccine upon approval.