J&J and Catalent ink deal for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing

April 29, 2020

Johnson & Johnson is setting the stage to produce the 600-900 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate it has promised will be ready next year. 

This week, the company signed a joint manufacturing deal with Catalent Biologics, which will begin preparing its Bloomington, Indiana plant for COVID-19 vaccine production. Under the agreement, J&J will leverage Catalent’s 875,000-square foot facility and its “deep expertise in sterile formulation,” and fill/finish capabilities to scale up production of J&J’s vaccine candidate, should it be approved. Catalent said it will use two high-speed machines — an Optima vial filling line and a Dividella NeoTOP 1604 top-loader cartoner — in the vaccine’s production.

Starting this July, Catalent will also begin hiring 300 workers at the facility.

J&J is planning to begin human trials on its vaccine in September and hopes to win approval in early 2021.

The deal is J&J’s second manufacturing agreement to scale-up production of its vaccine candidate. J&J also recently struck a deal with Emergent BioSolutions to help increase its vaccine manufacturing capacity.

Read the press release.