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With $1-Bn Grant, J&J Gets Ready To Make One Billion Covid-19 Jabs In India

An ambitious target of one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine and financial aid of $1 billion to make them in India seems to be the most heartening news of the day. The American multinational Johnson & Johnson (J&J), operating in 60 countries, seems to be routing that kind of investment as “grant” from two large countries where the pharma major operates. It is learnt that the Hyderabad-based company, Biological E, which has been appointed as J&J’s contract manufacturer earlier this year, will soon start bridging clinical trials for which they have sought official permission from Indian regulators. Biological E, set up in 1962, and partnering with global majors, supplies its vaccines to more than 100 countries. It has supplied more than two billion doses of vaccines in the last decade alone. Since J&J’s single-shot vaccine is already approved by the US regulator and is currently administered across the United States, they would only need a bridging trial in India, which means a small group of 1,000 participants would take the shot before it is officially approved. Bridging trial for J&J’s vaccine is expected to be on similar line of that done by Russian Covid19 vaccine Sputnik V by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the trial conducted by Serum Institute for the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine.