Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO appears at the White House to discuss the company’s collaboration with Merck and future vaccine production
Learn more about the event, Johnson & Johnson’s historic collaboration with Merck—and watch a video that chronicles the progress that the company has made since last March in the fight against COVID-19.
Almost a year to the day that the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, Johnson & Johnson is proud to be participating in an event at the White House to share the inspiring journey that its scientists and many other employees have been on since the company first announced it had identified a lead investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate in March 2020.
Since that milestone moment, there have been many others, including the announcement last week that Johnson & Johnson is collaborating with another healthcare leader, Merck, to help manufacture the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Today, Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky visited the White House, where President Biden announced that the United States will purchase an additional 100 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. Last August, Johnson & Johnson signed an agreement with the U.S. government to deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine—a commitment the company is on track to meet.
The Merck collaboration is helping make this goal possible, and is just the most recent example of key public-private partnerships that have been forged to help Johnson & Johnson in its commitment to do all it can to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2020, as soon as the novel coronavirus began to spread, Johnson & Johnson collaborated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, to design a large number of potential candidates for an investigational COVID-19 vaccine.
Our industry realized in the early days of the pandemic that vaccine development wasn’t a race against each other as competitors—it was a race against time to defeat a common enemy.
Two months later, the company announced a lead vaccine candidate and a landmark partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Association (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to co-fund vaccine research, development and clinical testing.*
As Gorsky has said, “Johnson & Johnson was built for times like these.”
It’s a powerful statement that speaks to Johnson & Johnson’s rich history of innovation—the company turns 135 this year. And since its founding, Johnson & Johnson has been at the forefront of innovating to help address many other global health threats, including the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, when the company mass-manufactured epidemic masks.
“I couldn’t be more honored to be at the White House today celebrating this landmark collaboration between Johnson & Johnson, Merck and the Biden administration to further accelerate production of our vaccine,” Gorsky said. “Our industry realized in the early days of the pandemic that vaccine development wasn’t a race against each other as competitors—it was a race against time to defeat a common enemy. Our new collaboration with Merck will allow us to be even more ambitious in our goals of keeping as many people around the world as safe as we possibly can.”
Watch the below video to learn more about the progress that Johnson & Johnson has made over the past year in fighting COVID-19.
*Research and development activities for the Company’s COVID-19 vaccine, including the ENSEMBLE clinical trial and the delivery of doses for the U.S., has been funded in part with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), under Contract No. HHSO100201700018C, and in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).