February 11, 2020 / 10:26 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-J&J partners with U.S. agency to develop coronavirus vaccine

(Adds partnership terms, background)

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday it was working with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to speed up development of a coronavirus vaccine.

J&J said in January it had started work on developing a vaccine for coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000 people and infected 42,708 in China.

The company had said its vaccine program would utilize the same technologies used to make its experimental Ebola vaccine, which is currently being administered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Drugmakers have cautioned they have a long way to go to develop a vaccine or effective treatment for coronavirus, and developing a treatment could require up to $800 million in investment. Even if accelerated, it would likely take more than a year until approval for a potential treatment reut.rs/2SjVdvV.

Earlier in the day, World Health Organization Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the first vaccine was 18 months away.

Under the terms of the agreement, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, a J&J unit, and BARDA will contribute to the research and development costs of the treatment.

BARDA would fund the development of the vaccine into early-stage clinical studies, the company said.

J&J is also working closely with global partners to accelerate the discovery of potential coronavirus treatments, the company said. (Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Vinay Dwivedi)

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