Johnson & Johnson is currently racing to ensure its ability to produce its lead vaccine candidate against COVID-19 is sufficient.

The company announced when selecting the candidate that it plans to scale its production capacity to one billion doses?.

A week ago?

By signing a manufacturing partnership with Emergent to use its US facility to produce a potential vaccine drug substance, J&J started this process.

This was followed by the announcement yesterday that J&J had agreed to an additional manufacturing deal with Catalent for the latter company to provide large-scale commercial manufacturing at its Bloomington, USA facility.

The undertaking's scale was revealed as Catalent announced it would have to take on an additional 300 staff members to manage the tech transfer and enable the contract development and manufacturing organization to conduct manufacturing operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

By July 2020, Catalent aims to have these employees on board to prepare production processes for anticipated large-scale production starting in January 2021.

Catalent Biologics, a division of the company specialized in the manufacture of biologics, will be responsible for the production out of its Indiana plant of 875,000 square feet.

The company noted that the network of the division spans further facilities in the USA and Europe.

Even though the exact figures were not announced, both companies will be responsible for the investment required to scale up the manufacturing process.

Catalent also stated on the same day that the announcement was made that it is working on antivirals, vaccines, diagnoses, and treatments related to COVID with several other customers.

After being declared an essential business, the company noted that it had established a 'coronavirus response team.'

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