Widely recognised as the world’s largest healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson is known for its products among the public. They have grown over the years, and have made a huge success in terms of healthcare throughout the world.
Recently, the company announced that they would invest in an experimental vaccine for COVID-19. They selected a lead vaccine candidate for the COVID-19’s novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and further announced the desire to develop the manufacturing capacity that would be able to delivery 1 billion doses of the same. All of this, even though the vaccine is not expected to be ready for human trials before September.
Imagine the mass-production of a vaccine before obtaining any evidence that it would work!
Why is this a big deal?
Usually, drugmakers wait for a batch of positive results from clinically controlled trials before making such decisions. However, Johnson & Johnson along with the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA) have committed to co-fund more than $1 billion for development of this coronavirus candidate for the vaccine. They are scaling up facilities to make sure they produce enough quantity as soon as possible. We can expect to have warehouses filled with vaccine candidates even before there would be results to prove if the vaccine will be able to prevent COVID-19.
Johnson & Johnson is doing this with a hope that if there is a success in the clinical trials, the vaccine can be put to immediate use in early 2021. The short timeline that has been set for this treatment is being backed by the FDA. They are willing to be flexible and offer support to fight against the pandemic COVID-19.
The FDA has recently given access to its first emergency use authorizations to support the therapeutic products. These products have been used to treat already hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Apart from this, they have granted access to two decades-old malaria drugs as a result of the sufficient data that shows the effectiveness of these treatments.3