Johnson and Johnson, Aspen ink Covid vaccine manufacturing pact
Durban: South African pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare said it has entered into an agreement with 'Johnson & Johnson' (J&J) for the technical transfer and proposed commercial manufacturing of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
The vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2-S is currently undergoing clinical trials.
Aspen Pharmacare on Monday said it will perform formulation, filling and secondary packaging of the vaccine for supply to Johnson & Johnson.
This agreement is still subject to the successful completion of the relevant technology transfer activities and finalisation of certain commercial manufacturing terms.
"We have been selected as a vaccine partner by Johnson & Johnson and this project will receive priority focus," said Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive.
"We are particularly pleased to be given the opportunity of providing assistance for patients in need across the world from our South African base," Saad added.
Aspen Pharmacare said it has agreed to provide the necessary capacity required for the manufacture of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine candidate at its existing sterile facility at Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Aspen has invested in excess of 3 billion rand (approximately $185 million) in the facility together with high technological equipment and systems used to manufacture sterile drugs and vaccines, packaged into vials, ampoules and pre-filled syringes.
The production area where it is intended that the vaccine candidates will be manufactured has the capacity to produce more than 300 million doses per annum, the company said.