Johnson & Johnson said a partnership of the public-private sector in Europe has allocated 100 million euro, or about $115 million, to boost its Ebola vaccine project. The company already has the vaccine in an early stage trial on humans. The drug showed positive results in terms of efficacy and safety in a trial on monkeys.
The cash boost will help the company in conducting clinical trials, production and creating awareness about the vaccine. Johnson & Johnson intends to initiate Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials of the drug in Africa and Europe. The company will receive the grant through its consortia that include institutions such as the University of Oxford, which is also leading the Phase 1 trials of the vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson has already individually made a significant investment towards developing of the Ebola vaccine. It recently committed $200 million to fund the project but also asked partners to come and support the course.
Accelerated development of Johnson & Johnson’s Ebola vaccine is expected to alleviate suffering in West Africa, where Ebola virus is causing havoc. The virus has killed nearly 8,000 people and sickened thousands while overwhelming West Africa’s health-care systems.
The vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson has already shown encouraging results in animal trials, which is a sign that it could be successful in human. There is currently no treatment or vaccine for Ebola. If JNJ’s drug is successful, it will help curb the spread of Ebola by protecting those who have not already caught the virus and treat those who are already infected.
New revenue stream
The success of the drug will also open up a new revenue stream for the company. However, several other companies are developing their own Ebola treatments, which may result in the market being very competitive.
Johnson & Johnson is developing the Ebola vaccine regiment in partnership with a Danish company known as Bavarian Nordic.