News Feed Item

Johnson & Johnson Responds to Ebola Crisis With Commitment to Accelerate Vaccine Program in Collaboration With the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Provide Humanitarian Relief Aid

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) today announced it will fast-track the development of a promising new combination vaccine regimen against Ebola and broadly collaborate with its partners in global health to deliver immediate relief aid to address the current Ebola outbreak.

The accelerated vaccine program features a prime-boost regimen, in which one vector is used to prime and the other to boost the immune response.  It consists of two vaccine components that are based on AdVac® technology from Crucell N.V. (part of the Janssen pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, based in the Netherlands) and the MVA-BN® technology from Bavarian Nordic, (a biotech company, based in Denmark).  The program has received direct funding and is also utilizing vaccine preclinical services from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of National Institutes of Health (NIH). Crucell will bring this development program forward, in close collaboration with Bavarian Nordic and the NIAID, to allow for initiation of a clinical trial of this combined regimen in humans in early 2015.

The company's expedited vaccine development schedule is in response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and is aligned with the World Health Organization's Ebola Response Roadmap, including its call to fast-track access to treatment and vaccine options to address the Ebola virus outbreak.

Johnson & Johnson's multi-pronged approach, as part of their overall commitment to prevent disease in vulnerable populations, includes:

  • an intensive review of known pathways in Ebola pathophysiology to determine whether previously tested medicines can be used to help patients survive an Ebola infection, and
  • additional support to the non-profit organization Direct Relief International to facilitate the air transport of a variety of infection prevention products to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"Patients are at the heart of everything we do.  Our primary goal in this escalating Ebola epidemic is to assist governments in protecting health care workers, families and populations who are at high risk of being infected with Ebola as soon as possible in an effort to stop the disease from spreading further," said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson.  "With a strong heritage in collaborative partnerships and a proven track record in the rapid development and access of innovative products, we aim to ultimately eradicate deadly diseases like Ebola and save lives around the world."

Crucell and Bavarian Nordic are both currently developing preventive vaccines against filoviruses, including Ebola virus, with direct funding and vaccine preclinical services from NIAID.  In addition, the two companies have developed a combination regimen that harnesses the potency of both vaccines and could be used to elicit protective immunity against the Zaïre species of the Ebola virus, which is responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa.  The combination vaccine provided complete protection of vaccinated macaques against disease and death after exposure to a highly virulent wildtype Ebola Zaire strain. 

Based on these promising results, Bavarian Nordic, Crucell and NIAID intend to advance this development program to allow for initiation of a human trial in early 2015. 

The combination regimen uses proven vaccine technology platforms from both companies that have shown to be immunogenic and safe when used in humans for other applications:  to date more than 1,000 humans have received Crucell's adeno-platform based vaccine in clinical trials, while Bavarian Nordic's MVA-BN platform is the basis of the smallpox vaccine registered in Canada and Europe and stockpiled in the rest of the world with a safety record of use in more than 7,300 humans.  In addition to the clinical advantage of the combination regimen, the collaboration also allows for faster production with each company taking on the production of one element of the combination regimen.

Crucell has been exploring vaccines as well as other related programs targeting diseases with potential widespread social impact in partnership with the NIH since 2002.  This new research collaboration for a monovalent vaccine targeting the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus is part of an ongoing development program for a multivalent vaccine against all filoviruses that cause disease in humans, including Ebola and Marburg viruses.

"In light of the current emergency in West Africa and given the evident, huge unmet medical need, we are stepping up our efforts and accelerating the Ebola program currently in pre-clinical development," said Johan Van Hoof, M.D., Global Head, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines, Janssen and Managing Director, Crucell.  "We recognize the urgency of the situation and the need to collaborate with multiple partners to develop treatment and preventive solutions for Ebola."

The emergence of Ebola in West Africa has also strained the health care systems of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The company's long tradition of disaster response has prompted support of Direct Relief International's efforts in this area.  Johnson & Johnson is also participating in the ongoing efforts by public health authorities, including the Centres for Disease Control and the WHO, to mount a coordinated world response to address the immediate needs raised by the Ebola outbreaks.

About Ebola

The Ebola virus belongs to a virus family called Filoviridae and can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates.  Ebola has a mortality rate ranging from 50% to 90% according to the World Health Organization.  The virus is highly prioritized by the U.S. Government, who has defined the virus as a "Category A" agent, due to its high mortality rate.  Currently, no licensed vaccine, treatment or cure exists for this disease.

About Johnson & Johnson

Caring for the world one person at a time inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson.  We embrace research and science - bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 126,000 employees at more than 270 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

About Crucell

Crucell is part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and is focused on research development and production of vaccines, proteins and antibodies that prevent and/or treat infectious diseases.  Crucell is a major supplier of vaccines to UNICEF and the developing world.  Crucell was the first manufacturer to launch a fully-liquid pentavalent vaccine named Quinvaxem®.  With this innovation, Crucell has become a major partner in protecting children in developing countries against major infectious diseases.  Crucell has a broad development pipeline, with several product candidates based on its unique AdVac® and/or PER.C6® production technology.  Crucell licenses its PER.C6® technology and other technologies to the biopharmaceutical industry.

About Janssen

At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing and solving some of the most important unmet medical needs of our time in infectious diseases and vaccines, oncology, immunology, neuroscience, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.  Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world. 

(This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Crucell N.V. and/or Johnson & Johnson.

Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges and uncertainties inherent in product development, including the timeline for the potential availability of a vaccine against Ebola.

A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2013, including in Exhibit 99 thereto, and the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson.  None of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.)

SOURCE Johnson & Johnson

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will show how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyon...
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Today every business relies on software to drive the innovation necessary for a competitive edge in the Application Economy. This is why collaboration between development and operations, or DevOps, has become IT’s number one priority. Whether you are in Dev or Ops, understanding how to implement a DevOps strategy can deliver faster development cycles, improved software quality, reduced deployment times and overall better experiences for your customers.
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...