Johnson & Johnson Pledges $200 Million To Ebola, Will Begin Testing Vaccine In January 2015

Published: Oct 22, 2014

Johnson & Johnson Pledges $200 Million To Ebola, Will Begin Testing Vaccine In January 2015

October 22, 2014

By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Biopharma giant Johnson & Johnson said today that it will pour $200 million into accelerating its Ebola vaccine program, as biotech companies race to find therapies that are effective as stopping the deadly virus.

J&J said it would work on the vaccine’s development at its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and would collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

J&J has been working on its Ebola vaccine in collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and includes technology from Danish biotech Bavarian Nordic, which saw its shares leap 20 percent in early morning trading on the news.

J&J has said that it will produce 250,000 doses by May. Analysts have projected that Bavarian Nordic could rake in more than $187 million in deal value from infusion poured in by Johnson & Johnson during the production. It said in today’s statement it hopes to have 1 million doses of any potential vaccine during 2015.

Its combination vaccine regimen has shown promising results in preclinical studies the J&J said it will now move towards testing safety and immunogenicity in healthy human candidates in in Europe, the U.S. and Africa starting in early January.

"We are urgently working to provide our vaccine expertise, production capabilities, our people and resources to address the Ebola crisis," said Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson, in a statement.

"Our innovation model enables us to quickly mobilize our extensive resources to collaborate with health authorities and governments and other experts to help contain this disease, save lives, and protect the health and lives of those at risk,” said Gorsky. “We have an important responsibility as a leading global healthcare company to do all we can to address this urgent unmet medical need."

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