The FDA has authorized two batches of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Emergent Biosolutions Inc. manufacturing facility to be made available under emergency use authorization (EUA) while determining that several other batches were unsuitable for use. While the FDA would not confirm the number of unsuitable batches, the newly authorized batches, however, can be used in the U.S. or exported.
A cautious optimism pervaded the March 11 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee update on COVID-19, with witnesses and lawmakers alike welcoming the continuing decline of infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S.
Emergent Biosolutions Inc. CEO Robert Kramer assured investors that he takes “full responsibility” for woes that beset the firm after the FDA’s Form 483 found serious manufacturing problems at the Baltimore, Md.-based Bayview plant. “You have my commitment that we're going to do everything we can to resolve these issues quickly, and as safely as possible,” he said during an April 29 conference call on first-quarter financial results.
In addition to safety questions about its COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson & Johnson is facing manufacturing challenges as a key partner, Emergent Biosolutions Inc., has yet to get FDA approval to manufacture or distribute the vaccine or its components in the U.S. That approval could be awhile in coming. On April 21, a day after completing its onsite inspection of Emergent’s Bayview plant in Baltimore, Md., the FDA released Form 483 from its inspection, revealing nine observations related to cross-contamination issues, lack of employee training and poorly designed and maintained facilities.
LONDON - The EU has secured a supply of the most advanced COVID-19 vaccine in development, in a deal with Astrazeneca plc for up to 400 million doses of AZD-1222, with deliveries starting by the end of 2020.
The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) looked with favor on a bucketload of would-be drugs, issuing positive opinions for the European Commission to consider across a range of indications.