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Preventing Ebola outbreaks

Johnson & Johnson’s Response to the Deadly Ebola Virus

Ebola is a deadly disease that threatens African countries and can cross international borders if it isn’t contained. The 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola Outbreak, responsible for infecting more than 28,000 people and claiming more than 11,000 lives, was a global crisis that spurred the world into action. In response, scientists at Janssen quickly accelerated work on a vaccine, forged new partnerships and mobilized to conduct multiple studies across three continents.
In July 2020, the European Commission (EC) approved Johnson & Johnson’s Ebola vaccine regimen for the prevention of Ebola Virus Disease, completing the journey from the first clinical studies to approval by a stringent regulatory authority in just six years and marking the first major regulatory approval of a vaccine developed by Janssen. In April 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) granted Prequalification status to the regimen, an important stepping stone to registration in African countries at risk of outbreaks and broader access to those most in need.

From August 2018 to June 2020, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) faced the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record. The DRC and its partners deployed Johnson & Johnson's Ebola vaccine regimen alongside other tools as part of an expansive public health effort that helped end the outbreak. To date, more than 225,000 people worldwide have received the first dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Ebola vaccine regimen. In February 2021, new Ebola outbreaks were declared in the DRC and across the continent in Guinea, emphasizing more than ever the need for preventive vaccines.
Combating Ebola: From the lab to the last mile

Featured efforts

Johnson & Johnson’s Macaya Douoguih on her commitment to prevent Ebola

Macaya Douoguih volunteered to lead an accelerated clinical program for a new investigational Ebola vaccine at the height of the 2014 epidemic in West Africa. She reflects on her experiences—and why her work must continue today.

Uniting innovation to deliver large-scale campaigns

The Rwanda Ministry of Health’s UMURINIZI campaign is the first large-scale use of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Monitoring Platform, a digital tool that integrates innovative technologies to implement vaccination campaigns effectively and efficiently.
  • Biometric iris scanning identification tracks each patient’s unique identification
  • Management reporting dashboard tracks progress in near-real time
  • Mobile phone messaging drives adherence and strong follow up with participant
A man getting his eyes examined by a healthcare professional holding up an Ebola-detecting device

Our progress

Janssen clinical studies
People have started Janssen’s Ebola vaccine regemin to date
Phase 1,2,3 trials
Trials show robust and durable antibody response
  • We believe that through the proactive use of our Ebola vaccine, the global health community can help protect vulnerable communities living under the threat of this disease.
    Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, M.D., Ph.D.
    Global Head, Global Public Health Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson
  • The increasing frequency of outbreaks in Africa underscores that the threat of Ebola is not going away, which is why we collaborated to develop a vaccine regimen capable of inducing long-term immunity against Ebola and are working to ensure that it is accessible to people in need.
    Penny Heaton, M.D.
    Global Therapeutic Area Head, Vaccines, Janssen Research & Development

Ebola: A timeline

The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Over the past 45 years, there have been multiple Ebola outbreaks. The worst to date was the West African Ebola epidemic, which caused nearly 30,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths in 2014-2016. The world’s second-largest outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which started in 2018 and was declared over in June 2020, caused more than 3,300 cases and over 2,200 deaths.
Janssen begins vaccine research, with support from the National Institutes of Health, against filoviruses, which include Ebolavirus
WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for Ebola outbreak in West Africa
J&J commits to accelerate development and expand production of Ebola vaccine regiment; first-in-human study began in UK
Announcement of IMI-supported consortia, including financial support from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). ‘EBOVAC-Salone’ study begins in Sierra Leone
First clinical data for Ebola vaccine regimen published in JAMA. Johnson & Johnson completes submission to WHO for Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL)
First long-term clinical data for Ebola vaccine regimen published in JAMA. New partnership with BARDA to support U.S. licensure of vaccine regimen
Second-largest Ebola outbreak begins in North Kivu, DRC
WHO declares the DRC epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). WHO’s SAGE committee recommends evaluation of Johnson & Johnson vaccine regimen in DRC
Johnson & Johnson announces its commitment to donate up to 700,000 vaccine regimens for DRC and Rwanda initiatives
Johnson & Johnson files for EU approval of vaccine regimen. Conditional approval under exceptional emergency granted by the Rwanda Food and Drug Administration
European Commission announces approval of Johnson & Johnson’s Ebola vaccine regimen. Second-largest Ebola outbreak in North Kivu, DRC declared over
New outbreaks begin in Guinea and DRC. More than 225,000 people have started regimen to date
J&J announces it will provide up to 200,000 Ebola vaccine regimens to support a WHO early access clinical program launched in response to the West Africa outbreak
Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine regimen receives Prequalification from the World Health Organization
The WHO’s SAGE Committee recommends use of the J&J Ebola vaccine regimen both during outbreaks for individuals at some risk of Ebola exposure, and preventively for national and international first responders.
Data published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases show that the J&J Ebola vaccine regimen generates robust immune responses in adults and children.

Working in partnership

Johnson & Johnson made a significant investment in the Janssen Ebola vaccine development program. We also forged strategic partnerships with a wide range of the world’s leading scientific and medical research organizations to accelerate our progress.

Development partners & funders

  • Bavarian Nordic A/S
  • Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)
  • Europe’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (EIMI)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Clinical program partners

  • Centre Muraz
  • Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
  • COMAHS, University of Sierra Leone
  • Grameen Foundation
  • Inserm
  • Inserm Transfert
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Health
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo Ministry of Public Health
  • The Ministry of Health and Sanitation Sierra Leone
  • Uganda Virus Research Institute
  • Université de Kinshasa
  • University of Antwerp
  • University of Oxford
  • Vibalogics GmbH
  • Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
  • Wellcome Trust
  • World Vision Ireland

Latest news

Johnson & Johnson Ebola Vaccine Regimen Demonstrated Robust and Durable Immune Response in Adults and Children in Data Published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Data show the vaccine regimen induced neutralizing antibody responses in nearly all participating adults and children 21 days after the second dose Adults receiving booster shots two years after initial vaccination regimen showed strong immune responses The data support the potential prophylactic use of the Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine regimen to protect adults and children

Johnson & Johnson Joins World Health Organization in Efforts to Prevent Spread of Ebola in West Africa

Up to 200,000 Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine regimens will be made available as part of a WHO early access clinical program now underway in Sierra Leone Company’s Ebola vaccine regimen also receives Prequalification from the WHO The Johnson & Johnson vaccine regimen is designed to be used proactively to induce immunity against Ebola in adults and children

6 Latest Facts About Johnson & Johnson’s Ebola Vaccine

In response to a new Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Johnson & Johnson is providing up to 200,000 doses of its Ebola vaccine regimen to the country for a World Health Organization supported clinical trial. Learn more about the initiative and other top facts about the vaccine regimen for the deadly virus.

Johnson & Johnson Announces European Commission Approval for Janssen’s Preventive Ebola Vaccine

This marks the first major regulatory approval of a vaccine developed by Janssen The Ebola vaccine regimen leverages Janssen’s AdVac® technology, plus Bavarian Nordic’s established MVA-BN® technology Janssen’s AdVac® technology is also being used to develop a vaccine candidate to prevent COVID-19

Johnson & Johnson Announces Commitment to Support Republic of Rwanda’s Preparedness Against Ebola Outbreak

Up to 200,000 Regimens of Janssen’s Investigational Ebola Vaccine to be Supplied to Rwanda for Use in Border Region near Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Johnson & Johnson Announces Donation of up to 500,000 Regimens of Janssen’s Investigational Ebola Vaccine to Support Outbreak Response in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

The government of the DRC supports use of Janssen’s vaccine regimen as part of expanded public health response to country’s Ebola outbreak – the second-worst on record
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