GRAM partners with Johnson & Johnson on vaccine production

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Together, teams from both companies are working to transfer the manufacturing process to GRAM’s new, 60,000-square-foot fill-and-finish facility and are preparing for the start of vaccine production. Courtesy Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing entered into an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to support the manufacture of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM), a Grand Rapids-based parenteral contract development and manufacturing organization for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, announced the agreement last week. It includes the technical transfer and fill and finish manufacture of Johnson & Johnson’s SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. Together, teams from both companies are working to transfer the manufacturing process to GRAM’s new, 60,000-square-foot fill-and-finish facility and are preparing for the start of vaccine production.

“Should their vaccine candidate be approved, the opportunity to serve the population with a vaccine to combat the COVID-19 pandemic alongside Johnson & Johnson is an extraordinary privilege,” said Tom Ross, president and CEO of GRAM. “Our team is enthusiastic, dedicated and focused on supporting Johnson & Johnson in the fight against COVID-19.”

GRAM is expanding domestic fill/finish capacity for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics for companies that have agreements with the federal government to meet its Operation Warp Speed goals. The GRAM expansion is funded, in part, by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Department of Defense’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND).

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate being manufactured at GRAM is being developed, in part, with funding from BARDA. BARDA, in collaboration with JPEO-CBRND, also is funding a demonstration of manufacturing capability that is expected to result in 100 million doses of the investigational vaccine, which the federal government will own.

GRAM said it is well-equipped to support the manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. By performing advanced aseptic fill-and-finish services, GRAM is helping to ensure the supply of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate would be available upon regulatory approval.

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