Emergent and Johnson and Johnson are going through what seems to be a rough and public breakup.
In an SEC filing shared this week, Emergent let J&J know that it is still expecting the money promised in the vaccine initial agreement, approximately $420 million.
The filing, signed by Richard Lindahl, Emergent’s executive vice president and CFO, states that the company is notifying J&J of a possible “material breach of the agreement for, among other things, failure by Janssen to provide [Emergent] the requisite forecasts of the required quantity of product to be purchased.”
Last year, an out-of-spec result during quality testing led Emergent to discard the equivalent of 15 million doses of the J&J jab, which was already suffering bad press following rare cases of blood clots in patients. Now, Emergent is saying that if J&J fails to fulfill the minimum terms outlined in the agreement, the drugmaker will owe the CDMO a range of “approximately $125 to $420 million.”
While J&J hasn’t publicly stated that the high-profile mistake had anything to do with their decision to slow down production, the viral vector vaccine was already struggling in comparison to its mRNA-based competitors. Last month, the FDA made an updated statement limiting its use after “finding that the risk of serious thrombocytopenia syndrome warrants limiting the authorized use of the vaccine.”