Friday, January 16, 2015

Ebola Crisis Update: J&J Lands €100 Million In Public/Private Funding -- For Its Janssen Unit's Vaccine Efforts

Just a quick Friday update -- on Ebola vaccine candidates' news, here: J&J has scored a way to likely become the solid third-place player, in this race.

Even so, this is far less about commercial opportunities, and far more about doing the right thing. Profits may well come, for these top three finishers -- but they will be incidental. From the press release, then:

. . . .Johnson & Johnson is pleased to announce the formation of consortia with leading global research institutions and non-government organizations to work in conjunction with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies to accelerate the development of its Ebola vaccine regimen. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) plans to award these consortia grants totaling more than €100 million from the Ebola+ programme to support the development, manufacturing and patient education for the vaccine regimen.

The IMI is Europe's largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients. Funding for the IMI Ebola+ programme comes in part from Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation programme, and in part in the form of in-kind contributions from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) partners in the projects.

"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," said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. "The European Commission's support through IMI bolsters collaboration that should significantly accelerate efforts to help address this humanitarian crisis. . . ."

This is the very sort of thing George Merck would have been proud to be associated with -- and driving, were he still on the planet. Kudos to GSK, Merck and J&J, here. Onward.

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