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Johnson & Johnson Announces Potential Coronavirus Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson has announced a $1 billion deal with the U.S. government to create enough manufacturing capacity for more than one billion doses of a vaccine it is testing to fight the coronavirus.

The Band Aid and Listerine parent said that it had selected its own lead vaccine candidate and would start human testing of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by September, with an eye on having it ready for emergency use in early 2021, it said on Monday.

“The world is facing an urgent public health crisis and we are committed to doing our part to make a COVID-19 vaccine available and affordable globally as quickly as possible," commented Alex Gorsky, the company's chairman and chief executive.

As the world’s largest healthcare company, we feel a deep responsibility to improve the health of people around the world every day. Johnson & Johnson is well positioned through our combination of scientific expertise, operational scale and financial strength to bring our resources in collaboration with others to accelerate the fight against this pandemic.”

Early 2021

J&J said that the first batches of a vaccine could be available under an emergency use authorisation in early 2021, far quicker than the typical 18 month period that it takes for vaccines to be tested, approved and then manufactured.

J&J also committed more than $1 billion of investment along with U.S. agency Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to co-fund vaccine research, expanding a previous collaboration.

The new coronavirus, which began in Wuhan, China, has infected people in most countries around the world. The United States now has the most cases globally and many of them are in New York, where hospitals are reporting a scarcity of resources to treat the COVID-19 respiratory disease it causes.

News by Reuters. Additional reporting by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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