Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) said today that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. has forged a partnership with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to support coronavirus vaccine development.
Janssen and the virology lab led by Dr. Dan Barouch at BIDMC have started preclinical testing of multiple vaccine prospects, with the goal of identifying a COVID-19 vaccine candidate for clinical trials by the end of the month. A Phase 1 clinical study of the potential vaccine candidate could start by the end of the year.
Janssen is already preparing to upscale production and manufacturing capacities to meet global needs once the vaccine is available.
“It is critical to work with the best scientific minds as we look to rapidly identify and develop solutions to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Dr. Paul Stoffels, executive committee vice chair and chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson.
“We are grateful for talented and experienced collaboration partners like Dan Barouch and his team at BIDMC. By mobilizing our collective resources, we believe we can leverage the top science and cutting-edge capabilities to respond to this pandemic,” Stoffels said in a news release.
Janssen’s coronavirus vaccine development will utilize the company’s AdVac and PER.C6 technologies to rapidly upscale production of an optimal vaccine candidate, according to the company. The company has already used the technology to develop its investigational Ebola (which also utilizes its MVA-BN technology), Zika, RSV and HIV vaccines.
The Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center worked closely with Janssen on developing the Zika and HIV vaccines.
“We are currently evaluating a series of potential vaccine candidates for COVID-19,” Barouch said. “This collaboration with Janssen is aimed at the development of a COVID-19 vaccine that would allow for rapid development, large-scale manufacturing, and global delivery.”
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen has already been collaborating on COVID-19 vaccine development with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Janssen is also screening its library of antiviral molecules to accelerate the discovery of potential COVID-19 treatments and provide relief for people around the world.