A year of firsts: 6 ways Johnson & Johnson made history in 2019
From a first-of-its-kind contact lens that darkens when exposed to bright light to the first donation of 500,000 doses of an Ebola vaccine, here are just some of the ways Johnson & Johnson helped change the trajectory of health for humanity this past year.
As we come to the end of the year, it’s natural to want to look back and reflect on all that’s happened over the past 12 months.
The same is true for us at Johnson & Johnson.
In our quest to help address unmet health needs around the world, we tackle new challenges—and meet new benchmarks—each and every day, all year long.
So before we head into 2020, we’re taking a moment to reflect on just some of the milestones that helped us make 2019 a memorable year for helping improve the health and well-being of people across the globe.
The First Doses of an Ebola Vaccine Regimen Arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda
In 2018, Ebola made a resurgence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Today, it’s the world’s second worst Ebola outbreak on record, with over 3,000 confirmed cases and 2,000 deaths. To help protect the people of the DRC and neighboring Rwanda, Johnson & Johnson committed to providing up to 700,000 courses of an investigational Ebola vaccine regimen from the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, developed in collaboration with Bavarian Nordic. The first shipments of the vaccine have arrived in these countries, and over 1,300 people have been vaccinated so far.
The First (BAND-AID®)RED Campaign Launched to Help Fight HIV/AIDS
The new (BAND-AID®)RED campaign brings together several firsts: It’s not only the first collaboration between BAND-AID® Brand adhesive bandages and (RED), but spokesperson Laverne Cox is the first transgender actress to be nominated for three Emmys. Together, the three hope to mobilize all of us to #bandtogether against HIV/AIDS—through the purchase of one box of (BAND-AID®)RED bandages you can help provide a day’s worth of lifesaving medication to someone living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
The First Chewable Formulation of Johnson & Johnson’s Worm-Fighting Medicine Was Prequalified by the World Health Organization
Intestinal worm infections affect approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide, with children particularly vulnerable to the infection, which can lead to malnutrition, stunted growth and even impaired cognitive development. To help protect kids ages 1 and older against the illness, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson developed a chewable formulation of a medication called mebendazole that, when mixed with a small amount of water, is easier for very young children to swallow. In April, the World Health Organization prequalified the new formulation, which will enable the company to help even more young children at risk of infection.
The First-of-Its-Kind Contact Lens That Darkens When Exposed to Bright Light Became Available
Acuvue® Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions™ Light Intelligent Technology™, which hit the market in 2019, are the first contact lenses to automatically darken when exposed to bright light, darkening in less than a minute and fading back to clear in about 90 seconds when no longer exposed to bright light. They also offer the highest level of UV protection available in contact lenses, filtering blue light, while offering 100% protection against UVB rays.
The First F.D.A. Approval Was Received for a New Bladder Cancer Treatment
It’s the sixth most common cancer, yet treatment options for metastatic bladder cancer remain limited. But there’s now more hope for those in need. In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a treatment from Janssen, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, that may provide promise for some patients living with metastatic urothelial cancer. It’s the first Johnson & Johnson product approved with a companion diagnostic—a test that determines what type of patient would be appropriate for the treatment.
The First-of-Its-Kind Phase 3 HIV Mosaico Vaccine Trial Launched
The new Mosaico trial will evaluate what’s called a mosaic-based vaccine concept for HIV prevention. The trial is designed with the goal of protecting against a wide range of HIV-1 strains that are responsible for the epidemic around the world, and it’s the first trial to evaluate the Janssen investigational vaccine regimen in men who have sex with men and transgender people ages 18 to 60. It will also be the largest study of the mosaic vaccine to date, with the aim of enrolling 3,800 participants at approximately 56 clinical trial sites across North America, South America and Europe.