Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) today announced a new collaborative deal as it looks to develop a vaccine against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.
The collaborative deal is between J&J’s Janssen Vaccines & Prevention division, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and The Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, J&J said. Through the deal, Janssen will provide its expertise in tech and vaccine development, and will also work on novel vaccines against the Lassah and Nipah viruses.
“In our increasingly interconnected world, infectious diseases with pandemic potential pose a significant threat to global health, and new vaccines are urgently needed to ensure we are fully prepared for them. Johnson & Johnson is a strong supporter of CEPI’s vision because cross-sector collaborations will be essential to develop the tools we need to stay one step ahead. We hope that, together with The Jenner Institute, we can help advance the world’s first vaccines against the continuing viral threats of MERS, Lassa and Nipah,” J&J chief scientific officer Dr. Paul Stoffels said in a prepared statement.
In the deal, CEPI will provide funding to Janssen and The Jenner Institute to advance an adenovirus-vectored MERS-CoV vaccine currently in development. The funding is intended to help facilitate ongoing clinical development of the vaccine through phase 1 studies, including manufacturing of clinical trial supplies.
“We are delighted to work with CEPI and The Jenner Institute on this important project, and look forward to bringing Janssen’s leading expertise in adenovirus-vectored vaccines, as well as Janssen’s manufacturing capabilities, to accelerate the development of a MERS vaccine. We hope this collaboration will serve as a model for how the private and non-profit sectors can successfully work together to develop urgently needed vaccines in disease areas with high unmet need,” Janssen Vaccines & Prevention managing director Dr. Johan Van Hoof said in a prepared release.
Dependent upon study results, CEPI will also have an option to fund phase 2 development and manufacturing of the in-development vaccine. CEPI will also supply additional $4.1 million in funding to support early-stage, preclinical development of the Lassa and Nipah vaccines.
“CEPI’s collaboration with The Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford and Janssen Vaccines represents exactly what our coalition was set up to do: to drive development of vaccines to protect humanity against threats posed by emerging infectious diseases and to bring together the expertise of academia and the public and private sectors,” CEPI CEO Dr. Richard Hatchett said in a press release.
In August, J&J’s Janssen said that it won new FDA approval for its Imbruvica, clearing it for use in treating the rare blood cancer Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia in combination with ritumixab.