Johnson & Johnson to Develop a Vaccine Candidate Against Novel Coronavirus

January 30, 2020

J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies seeks to develop a vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced on Jan. 29, 2020 that it will be using resources at its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies to develop a vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a respiratory virus that has recently infected a large population of people in China.

The new vaccine program will utilize the same technology used in the development and manufacturing of Janssen’s investigational Ebola vaccine, AdVac and PER.C6, to provide the ability to rapidly upscale production of the optimal vaccine candidate, according to a company press release.

“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,” said Paul Stoffels, MD, vice chairman of the Executive Committee and chief scientific officer, Johnson & Johnson, in the press release. “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 company will also assess known pathways in coronavirus pathophysiology to find out if previously tested medicines can be used to help patients survive a 2019-nCoV infection and reduce the severity of the illness in non-lethal cases.

The company has donated boxes of its HIV medication PREZCOBIX (darunavir/cobicistat) to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention for use in research to support efforts in finding a solution against the 2019-nCoV. The researchers want to investigate compounds, including darunavir, which they think may be effective.

Source: Johnson & Johnson