July 16, 2020 / 2:52 PM / 24 days ago

EXCLUSIVE-J&J says in talks with Japan, Gates Foundation to lock in deals on COVID-19 vaccine

July 16 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson Inc is in talks with the government of Japan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation about locking up allocations of its potential COVID-19 vaccine in advance of it producing any of the medicines, Johnson & Johnson's chief financial officer Joseph Wolk told Reuters in an interview.

It has already agreed to provide an allocation to the United States as part of its funding agreement with U.S. government agency Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would focus on allocating any vaccine it acquired to developing countries, Wolk added. Reuters previously reported that J&J is also in talks with the European Union. (Reporting by Carl O'Donnell in New York and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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