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EU, Johnson & Johnson In Coronavirus Vaccine Talks: Report

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EU, Johnson & Johnson In Coronavirus Vaccine Talks: Report

It seems that just about everyone — Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the U.S. — have put their money on AstraZeneca's (NYSE: AZN) novel coronavirus vaccine. But the European Commission is preparing to bet on another contender.

What To Know: The Commission called Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) Tuesday about the possibility of reserving or purchasing up-front doses of the company’s yet-untested Covid-19 vaccine, according to Reuters. The sales agreement is in late-stage discussions.

The EU’s 27 composite governments had mandated the commission to use a $2.3 billion emergency fund to make such arrangements with up to six vaccine-producing pharmaceuticals.

Why It's Important: “Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is one of the promising initiatives,” a Dutch health ministry spokesman familiar with the EU negotiations told Reuters. The Commission is also in talks with Sanofi SA (NASDAQ: SNY).

The Johnson & Johnson deal could be announced by next week but may not be finalized for some time — if it’s finalized at all, according to Reuters. Whether the potential deal will involve an advance purchase or just an option to buy the developing vaccine is unclear. Clinical trials are expected to launch in July.

Related Links:

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