MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Johnson & Johnson joins global Janssen Ebola vaccine effort

Johnson & Johnson recently said it has partnered with top global research institutions and nongovernment organizations to help Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies accelerate testing and approval of its new Ebola vaccine through separate projects.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a public-private initiative in Europe that aims to speed up the development of better and safer medicine, will award more than $116 million from the Ebola+ program to support the creation of the vaccine regimen.

"In the face of the global challenge of Ebola, bringing together the expertise and capabilities of the pharmaceutical industry, academic centers and NGOs will be critical to help solve this crisis," Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman of Pharmaceuticals Dr. Paul Stoffels, said. "The European Commission's support through IMI bolsters collaboration that should significantly accelerate efforts to help address this humanitarian crisis."

Partial funding for the IMI Ebola+ program comes from Horizon 2020, a European Union research and innovation program. More funds come from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.

"It is great to see the multiple partners come together to accelerate the development of an effective vaccine, both for the current epidemic and future outbreaks," London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Director and Professor Dr. Peter Piot said. "This is an opportunity to make sure that this is the last Ebola epidemic in which our only tools to control it are isolation and quarantine."

Dr. Johan Van Hoof, Janssen’s global head of infectious diseases and vaccines, is grateful for the European Commission.

"With people still contracting this disease, there is still a risk that Ebola will continue to spread and that we could have another major outbreak in the future," Van Hoof said. "We highly appreciate the European Commission's support and are pleased to be joined by them and our distinguished partners in further accelerating our goal of bringing this vaccine, if approved, to families and frontline health care professionals as fast as possible."

Professor Andrew Pollard and Dr. Matthew Snape are leading the Phase I and II Ebola vaccine trials at the University of Oxford for IMI. Organizations joining Janssen include the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Oxford University, Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM), La Centre Muraz, Bavarian Nordic A/S, Vibalogics, the Grameen Foundation and World Vision of Ireland.

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