Johnson & Johnson is taking action in the fight against Coronavirus
Developing a potential vaccine candidate
Johnson & Johnson is taking action to develop a vaccine candidate that can hopefully be used quickly and on a large scale. We are collaborating with international partners in order to accelerate the vaccine development. Thus we are cooperating with a broadly supported partnership including intensive work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Our collaboration partners also include the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
At the end of March Johnson & Johnson announced the identification of a promising vaccine candidate for COVID-19. We anticipate that it will be possible to test the vaccine candidate in a Phase 1 human study no later than in September 2020. Johnson & Johnson will scale up its production capacity as quickly as possible to provide more than one billion vaccine doses worldwide. A COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use could be available as early as the start of 2021. This is a substantially accelerated timeframe compared with the usual duration of vaccine development. BARDA and Johnson & Johnson together are investing more than $1 billion in vaccine development and clinical trials.
Vaccine with Swiss involvement
Janssen Vaccines in Bern, which belongs to the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, is also involved in the COVID-19 activities of Johnson & Johnson. The innovation center for viral and bacterial vaccines and novel therapies is currently preparing for the sterile filling of the final COVID-19 vaccine formulation for the Phase 1 study. The site in Bern-Bümpliz already produced the Ebola vaccine at the same viral production platform in the last few years.
Review of a database of existing antiviral therapies
This is about finding out if previously tested drugs could be used to treat patients with Coronavirus infection. We are working with the Rega Institute for Medical Research (KU Leuven) in Belgium on the screening of potential antiviral compounds. In this context Johnson & Johnson uses the institute’s infrastructure and its extensive screening experience and options for the investigation of special pathogens. These are combined with the resources for drug development and the antiviral expertise of Johnson & Johnson.
Collaboration with regulators, healthcare organizations, institutions and associations worldwide
The Johnson & Johnson research & development teams are working closely with partners worldwide. Thus, we can optimize the utilization of existing scientific insights and our expertise in the area of development and treatment of infectious diseases.
Supply and demand
We have comprehensive action plans to ensure that we are prepared for unforeseen events and to cover the needs of patients, customers and consumers who depend on our products and services. These measures include, but are not limited to, the stockholding of our products in major distribution centers outside of high-risk areas. To complement this, we are working with external suppliers who are supporting our deployment plan. We currently have an adequate supply of urgently required medicines and products and we are working with great care to minimize the impact on patients, customers, and consumers.
The support of employees
All Johnson & Johnson employees, except for those working under strict safety measures in production facilities and on site, will continue to work from their home office until further notice. The employees receive regular information updates with the most important recommendations and improvements. In addition, Johnson & Johnson has implemented various actions and initiatives to help employees adapt to a digital workplace. In addition, the employees have a wide range of options available for continuous professional development, sport and wellbeing on various digital platforms.
Johnson & Johnson in infectology
As a leading company in the global fight against infectious diseases, Johnson & Johnson has been dedicated to stemming existing and emerging epidemics for a long time. By developing new vaccines and treatment options, we can treat a wide range of infectious diseases, such as HIV and tuberculosis, which are already pandemics, or have the potential to develop into a pandemic (Ebola, Zika and Influenza).
We are actively engaged in creating a broad response to epidemics and are working with regulators, healthcare organizations, and communities worldwide. Thus, we want to ensure that our research platforms, the existing scientific knowledge and our expertise can also be exploited in the best possible way in the fight against Coronavirus.
Social responsibility – support of the Swiss Red Cross
During these times of crisis, local organizations provide the support that is urgently needed for local communities in Switzerland. One of these organizations is the SRK (Schweizerische Rote Kreuz [Swiss Red Cross]), a long-standing partner of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in Switzerland. The organization will expand its local programs and initiatives across Switzerland to support the most at-risk and isolated people in these difficult times. Their programs include, but are not limited to, food shopping services, transportation services, and support in hospitals.
Johnson & Johnson in Switzerland supports the SRK and its local specific COVID-19 programs with a financial donation of CHF 500,000.
September 21, 2020
Initiation of Phase 3 ENSEMBLE clinical trial
July 30, 2020
Preclinical data published in Nature shows J&J’s investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine elicits a strong immune response that protects against subsequent infection.
July 22, 2020
First-in-human Phase 1/2a clinical trial commenced.
June 10, 2020
J&J announces acceleration of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate: Phase 1/2a clinical trial to begin in second half of July.
April 23, 2020
J&J enters into a collaboration with Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., to support the manufacturing of its lead investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
March 30, 2020
J&J announces a lead vaccine candidate will move into trials and pledges to supply 1B vaccines worldwide for emergency pandemic use. BARDA and J&J commit $1B to vaccine R&D.
March 27, 2020
J&J announces a $50 million commitment to support frontline health workers battling COVID-19.
March 11, 2020
WHO declares the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
February 26, 2020
The first case of COVID-19 was reported in South America, marking the spread of the disease to six of seven continents.
February 23, 2020
Europe has its first major outbreak of COVID-19, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy
February 18, 2020
J&J announces expanded collaboration with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to accelerate discovery of potential COVID-19 treatments.
February 11, 2020
J&J announces collaboration with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to accelerate development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
February 11, 2020
COVID-19 is announced as the official name of the disease caused by novel coronavirus. The virus is named SARS-CoV-2.
February 1, 2020
First death linked to 2019-nCoV was reported outside of China, in the Philippines.
January 30, 2020
WHO declares the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
January 12, 2020
J&J initiates efforts to develop a vaccine candidate against 2019-nCoV and to broadly collaborate with others to screen a library of antiviral molecules.
January 11, 2020
First death linked to 2019-nCoV.
January 7, 2020
WHO announces they have identified a new virus named 2019-nCoV, also known as Wuhan coronavirus. It is from the CoV family, which includes SARS and the common cold.
December 31, 2019
China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan. The virus is unknown.