Johnson & Johnson has made a commitment of up to $200 million to accelerate and significantly expand the production of an Ebola vaccine program in development at its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. The company is targeting production of more than one million doses of the vaccine regimen in 2015, 250,000 of which are expected to be released for broad application in clinical trials by May 2015.
Crucell, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, is engaged in the program that features a prime-boost regimen of two vaccine components that are based on AdVac® technology from Crucell and the MVA-BN® technology from Bavarian Nordic. Crucell and Bavarian Nordic are both developing preventive vaccines against filovirus Ebola. With funding from Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID), part of the NIAID of the NIH, the two companies have developed a combination regimen that harnesses the power of both vaccines and that could be used to elicit protective immunity against the Ebola Zaire virus.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson has made a cash contribution to help advance health care worker safety and effectiveness in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Liberia, J&J is providing funds to Direct Relief, which has been providing products in support of the outbreak to-date, and to Partners in Health to provide community health worker training. In Guinea, J&J is funding both AmeriCares and IntraHealth. In Sierra Leone, J&J is funding of both AmeriCares and Direct Relief. J&J is also providing funds to Project HOPE to focus efforts on infection control training regions of Liberia and Sierra Leone.
For more information see Dr. Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson, interview on the Company’s efforts to have 250,000 doses of experimental Ebola vaccine ready for clinical trials in May.