Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has received $1B in U.S. government funding for large-scale production of a potential COVID-19 vaccine as part of the White House’s Operation Warp Speed.
The departments of Defense and Health and Human Services agreed to finance fill-finish manufacturing activities for the company's vaccine candidate at U.S.-based locations, HHS said Wednesday.
Production efforts will take place concurrently with clinical trials which, if successful, would pave the way for authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to immediately ship 100M doses for public use.
HHS noted that the government plans to make the doses available “at no cost” in a push to vaccinate 300M people against the novel coronavirus.
"With the portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021," said Alex Azar, secretary of HHS.
The agreement builds on prior HHS investments totaling $456M to support Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine development initiatives.
The HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and U.S. Army Contracting Command partnered to fund Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine work.