Johnson & Johnson says Ebola vaccine groups will get $117M from European health organization

IndustriesAssociated Press

Johnson & Johnson is working with a slew of organizations to speed up development of an Ebola vaccine, and the company said Friday that a European health organization awarded them $117 million.

Johnson & Johnson said the Innovative Medicines Initiative will give 100 million euros ($117 million) to groups its Janssen Pharmaceutical unit is forming with research institutions and non-governmental organizations.

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The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company announced earlier this month the start of an early-stage clinical trial for its Ebola vaccine. The company plans to contribute up to $200 million to speed up development of the vaccine and expand production of the medicine for larger clinical trials. Johnson & Johnson said it expects to produce 2 million regimens, which are made up of one shot that primes the immune system and a second booster shot, available this year.

The company also plans to investigate ways to raise awareness and acceptance of its vaccine.

The largest Ebola outbreak in history started in December 2013 in Guinea, West Africa. The World Health Organization says more than 21,000 people are believed to have been infected and almost 8,500 have died.

Johnson & Johnson shares rose $1.55 to $104.04.