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Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Emergent BioSolutions to help Johnson & Johnson develop COVID-19 vaccine

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Emergent BioSolutions Inc. said on Thursday it will provide contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services to support Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to develop a vaccine candidate for COVID-19.

The vaccine candidate leverages the AdVac and PER.C6 technologies from the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, which is part of Johnson & Johnson.

Emergent will provide drug substance manufacturing services with its molecule-to-market CDMO offering starting this year. The agreement is valued at approximately $135 million. Also, Emergent will reserve certain large-scale manufacturing capacity to facilitate commercial manufacturing of Janssen’s adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine beginning in 2021.

“When mission-driven organizations combine talents and capabilities, potential solutions to serious issues like COVID-19 become more within reach to benefit patients,” Robert Kramer Sr., president and chief executive officer of Emergent BioSolutions, said. “We are proud of our collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and are equally committed to our longstanding relationship with the U.S. government. At a time like this, we all need to be working together to achieve maximum results for public health.”

Johnson & Johnson’s goal is to supply one billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. To support that, Emergent is in negotiations on a manufacturing agreement for large-scale drug substance manufacturing anticipated to begin in 2021. The manufacturing will be done at Emergent’s Baltimore Bayview facility, a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) designed for rapid manufacturing of vaccines and treatments in large quantities during public health emergencies. Emergent’s CIADM came about through a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Eight years ago, HHS invested in novel public-private partnerships to create three Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing or CIADMs to help strengthen the nation’s biotech infrastructure to prepare and respond to emergencies,” Gary Disbrow, acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said. “Leveraging the capacity available at the Bayview CIADM to speed development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine is precisely how we envisioned these centers be used in pandemic response.”

Depending upon the technology platform being used, Emergent’s CIADM has the capacity to produce tens to hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine on an annual basis.

“We share with our partners the same urgency to combat COVID-19 and will leverage our talents, capabilities, and capacities up to 300 million doses to advance this much-needed vaccine candidate and ensure ongoing commercial supply through our CDMO services,” Syed Husain, senior vice president and CDMO business unit head at Emergent, said.