J&J makes $1B deal with U.S. gov. to make coronavirus vax

March 31, 2020

Johnson & Johnson has made a $1 billion deal with the U.S. government to produce more than 1 billion doses of its coronavirus vaccine in development.

The company’s lead vaccine candidate is slated to begin trials in September but is not expected to be approved until next year.

The deal is part of a wider strategy by the U.S. government to expand manufacturing capabilities for a COVID-19 vaccine.

This week, Moderna also announced a vaccine deal with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Moderna was the first company to start human trials of a vaccine candidate and has already begun phase 1 safety testing in Seattle.

BARDA is investing an undisclosed amount of money to aid development of several vaccine candidates. But the agency did state that it is offering $420 million in funding to J&J’s coronavirus vaccine program. BARDA is also planning to take over manufacturing of Moderna’s vaccine candidate so that the company can focus on running trials.

Read the Reuters report.