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US to pay Johnson and Johnson $1 billion for COVID-19 vaccine

Photo by Johnson & Johnson

The US will pay Johnson and Johnson more than $1 billion to create 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

The US had previously given the company $456 million towards its development, and if it produces a successful vaccine, it will deliver it to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to be distributed on a not-for-profit basis. The US can also order up to 200 million doses as part of the deal.

Johnson & Johnson loses bid to overturn baby powder cancer case

Photo by Austin Kirk

Johnson & Johnson have had a bid to overturn a verdict that blamed the company’s baby powder for giving women ovarian cancer dismissed.

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The coronavirus continues to spread across the globe as the US launch their first trials for Gilead's ebola drug remdesivir in treating COVID-19. This comes at a time where US domestic supplies of 150 drugs are under threat from the epidemic.

In other news, MIT researchers have identified a new antibiotic compound using a machine-learning algorithm while Johnson & Johnson announced that Janssen Pharmaceuticals will work in collaboration with Apple to explore apps for stroke detection.

US Department of Justice investigate J&J over Baby Powder allegations

The Justice Department and US Securities and Exchanges Commission are investigation healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson over allegations that Johnson’s Baby Powder is contaminated with asbestos.

J&J made the disclosure in a regulatory filing noting that the two agencies have requested documents relating to the allegations.

“The company is cooperating with these government inquiries and will be producing documents in response,” the US healthcare conglomerate said in the filing.

US court overturns J&J's Zytiga patent in combination with prednisone

A court in New Jersey has invalidated Johnson & Johnson’s patent on the prostate cancer drug Zytiga when used in combination with the steroid prednisone. While Johnson and Johnson suggested that the combo was original, the generic drug makers argued that it was not a new idea.

US District Judge Kevin McNulty ruled that, prednisone’s ability to curtail the side effects of zytiga and reduce pain in cancer patients “would furnish a powerful motivation” to combine the two drugs and as such: “That road led straight to the practice of the patented method.”

J&J pledges to end global TB pandemic

Johnson and Johnson have announced that they are launching a 10-year initiative aimed at helping to end tuberculosis, the world’s most deadly infectious disease.

Through efforts to improve detection, broaden access to treatments, and accelerate R&D, the American pharma firm hope to save 1.8 million lives while preventing 12 million new TB infections, over the next ten years.

J&J ordered to pay $4.68 billion to talc-powder plaintiffs

A Missouri jury has ordered the New Jersey-based healthcare company Johnson and Johnson to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who claimed that the multinational’s talc-based products had caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

The jury awarded plaintiffs $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages in a record pay-out that has been described by a J&J spokesperson as “fundamentally unfair”.  The massive pay-out followed a six week trial in which testimony was heard from nearly a dozen experts on both sides.

J&J reportedly poised to acquire Europe’s biggest biotech

Johnson & Johnson could be eyeing a takeover of Swiss biotech Actelion, Europe’s biggest biotech, according to insiders, Bloomberg has reported.

The pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturer has reportedly made an initial offer of $17 billion, while Actelion is looking into potential options, though there is no obligation for a transaction to take place.

J&J loses Remicade patent fight, pledges to continue fight against biosimilars

Johnson and Johnson has announced that it has lost in a patent dispute between biosimilar makers Celltrion and Hospira, relating to its autoimmune disease drug Remicade (infliximab).

J&J boosted by pharma revenue in Q2 results

Shares at Johnson and Johnson have reached a record high of over $125 after pharma revenues helped to raise full year sales and earnings forecasts in their Q2 results.

Sales in their pharmaceutical arm, Janssen, rose 8.9% to $8.7 billion in the second quarter. This increase of sales was driven by higher demand for cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib), blood thinner Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and autoimmune drug Remicade (infliximab).

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