Collaboration Targets Vaccine Technologies to Wipe out HIV-1 and Hep-B

Janssen and Bavarian Nordic team up to commercialize new treatments.

Continuing successful programs already in progress between the two companies, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Bavarian Nordic released an exclusive worldwide licensing and collaboration agreement to leverage their respective vaccine technologies and commercialize new therapies against Hepatitis-B (HBV) and human immunodeficiency (HIV-1) viruses. Plans call for Bavarian Nordic to leverage its MVA-BN® technology with Janssen’s AdVac® DNA-based vaccine platform to create new, potentially effective vaccine regimens.

The agreement, said Janssen, is the result of the companies’ ongoing relationship with Bavarian Nordic and the successful development of vaccines to address Ebola and HPV viruses. According to data generated by the Janssen Ebola vaccine program and early insights from data it published regarding a new vaccine-based HIV therapy, Janssen said Nordic Bavarian’s MVA-BN® platform “could potentially benefit many patients when used with other vaccine technologies.”

Janssen said the agreement covers its responsibility for all clinical development of any potential new vaccines, and subject to FDA/regulatory approval, the registration, commercialization and distribution of any new therapies worldwide. For its part, Bavarian Nordic receives an undisclosed payment upfront and milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties based on specific development, regulatory and sales milestones.

Johan Van Hoof M.D., Global R&D Head, Janssen Infectious Diseases & Vaccines explained the collaboration’s goals: “With more than 250 million people believed to be living with HBV and a further 37 million with HIV it is critical that we address these significant unmet needs,” he said. “We are committed to bringing together the best internal and external science of promising, complementary solutions and advancing them into the clinic as rapidly as possible. Our objective is to identify functional cures for HIV and HBV to control the viruses and prevent potential disease progression without the need for life-long treatment.”

In addition, the company disclosed its innovation arm, Johnson & Johnson Innovation–JJDC. Inc., will be making an equity investment in Bavarian Nordic, stemming from previous investment of capital supporting the development, testing and production of Bvarian Nordic’s Ebola vaccine released at the height of the Ebola outbreak in 2014.


Steve Kuehn

Steve offers the life science industry insight and perspective from his more than 30 years of editorial, corporate and agency communications experience. Drawing from tenure as a lead communicator and media relations director for one of world’s largest technology and engineering companies, as well the editorial leadership of industry-leading B2B journals serving the energy, transportation and pharmaceutical sectors, including Pharmaceutical Manufacturing magazine, Steve delivers brand strategy, market-moving content and decision support. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University.