Limerick firm works on vaccine for Covid-19

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

Limerick firm works on vaccine for Covid-19

Johnson and Johnson's operation in the National Technology Park

JOHNSON and Johnson, which has an operation in the National Technology Park, is working on a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus disease.

The company has announced the selection of a candidate for the treatment of the condition from a number of constructs it has been working on since January when Covid-19 initially broke out.

The firm has a goal of providing a global supply of more than one billion doses.

Johnson and Johnson is expecting human tests on its candidate by this September at the latest, and hopes that the first batches will be available for emergency use in early 2021.

As a consequence of this, Johnson and Johnson – which employs 1,000 people at its eyewear operation here – is also expanding its global manufacturing capacity, including through the establishment of new US vaccine manufacturing capabilities and scaling up capacity in other countries.

The additional capacity will assist in the rapid production of a vaccine and will enable the supply of more than one billion doses of a safe and effective vaccine globally.

The firm plans to begin production at risk imminently and is committed to bringing an affordable vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use.

Alex Gorsky, chairman and chief executive officer, Johnson and Johnson, said, “The world is facing an urgent public health crisis and we are committed to doing our part to make a Covid-19 vaccine available and affordable globally as quickly as possible. As the world’s largest healthcare company, we feel a deep responsibility to improve the health of people around the world every day. Johnson and Johnson is well positioned through our combination of scientific expertise, operational scale and financial strength to bring our resources in collaboration with others to accelerate the fight against this pandemic.”