J&J is said it plans to start the first human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine on July 22 and could kick off late-stage studies as soon as September
Johnson & Johnson is in talks with the government of Japan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation about locking up allocations of its potential COVID-19 vaccine as it prepares to kick off human trials, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk, informed Reuters. J&J is said it plans to start the first human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine on July 22 and could kick off late-stage studies as soon as September.
More than a hundred vaccines are under development to try and stop the COVID-19 pandemic, and drugmakers including J&J is also working in the same light.
J&J has already agreed to prioritise an allocation to the United States as part of its funding agreement with the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Wolk said that the “general construct” of the discussions is likely to take a form similar to AstraZeneca Plc’s deal with the US government, which provided $1.2 billion in drug development aid to the UK drugmaker in exchange for locking in delivery of around 300 million doses for fall 2020.
AstraZeneca has also signed a contract with France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands for up to 400 million doses of its potential vaccine. It has also partnered with non-profits to ensure distribution to developing countries.
Wolk added that these discussions will help Johnson & Johnson determine the pricing for its vaccine, which the US drugmaker intends to sell on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic.
Similarly, as part of this deal, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would focus on allocating any vaccine it acquired to developing countries, Wolk informed.
Earlier this week, Billionaire, philanthropist and Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates during a virtual COVID-19 conference organised by the International AIDS Society called for COVID-19 drugs and an eventual vaccine to be made available to countries and people that need them most, not to the highest bidder only, saying that relying on market forces would prolong the deadly pandemic.
“We need leaders to make these hard decisions about distributing based on equity, not just on market-driven factors”, he maintained. Read more: https://www.expresshealthcare.in/covid19-updates/bill-gates-calls-for-covid-19-meds-to-go-to-people-who-need-them-not-highest-bidder/423101/