Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Jumps Into The Ebola Race; To Start Human Trials In Early 2015
9/4/2014 6:06:51 AM
September 4, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Today, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced that it will be working with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fast-track the development of a new combination vaccine regimen in light of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The company will be collaborating with its partners in the global health industry to provide relief as in areas affected by the outbreak as soon as possible.
The vaccine program has a prime-boost regimen, in which one vector is used to prime and the other is utilized to enhance immune response. It is composed of two vaccine components, which are based on MVA-BN technology from Bavarian Nordic A/S and AdVac technology from Crucell N.V. (CRXL).
Crucell is focused on the research and development of vaccines. It is part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, and it was the first manufacturer to launch a fully liquid pentavalent vaccine.
“In light of the current emergency in West Africa and given the evident, huge unmet medical need, we are stepping up our efforts and accelerating the Ebola program currently in pre-clinical development,” said Johan Van Hoof, M.D., Global Head, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines, Janssen and Managing Director, Crucell. “We recognize the urgency of the situation and the need to collaborate with multiple partners to develop treatment and preventive solutions for Ebola.”
The program has received funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The initiation of a clinical trial in humans may take place as early as 2015.
The expedited vaccine development schedule is aligned with the World Health Organization’s “Ebola Response Roadmap,” which includes its call to fast-track access to treatment and vaccines that may assist with the outbreak in West Africa.
“Patients are at the heart of everything we do,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson. “Our primary goal in this escalating Ebola epidemic is to assist governments in protecting health care workers, families and populations who are at high risk of being infected with Ebola as soon as possible in an effort to stop the disease from spreading further. With a strong heritage in collaborative partnerships and a proven track record in the rapid development and access of innovative products, we aim to ultimately eradicate deadly diseases like Ebola and save lives around the world.”
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