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October 10, 2018
Contact: HHS Press Office
[email protected]

HHS expands corporate partnership to protect against health security threats

A strategic partnership will expand between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Johnson & Johnson of New Brunswick, New Jersey.  The expansion will focus on the development of innovative products to combat the potentially deadly health effects of chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear threats, emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistant infections.

ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will manage a portfolio of products with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. Through the agreement, BARDA will have joint oversight, share the cost of developing a portfolio with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, help determine which products to develop, and collaborate on decisions about which products enter or leave each partnership’s portfolio.

Under the agreement, BARDA will provide more than $28 million over two years and up to $200 million over six years. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies also will provide a significant portion of the funding needed to bring products in the portfolio to the market.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to bring innovative products to the market that help combat all types of health security threats and meet daily healthcare needs,” said BARDA Director Rick Bright, Ph.D.

The first project funded will be an early development compound that can be used for acute radiation syndrome and certain potential chemical threats. The compound has demonstrated enhanced survival and beneficial effects on blood cells that can be injured by high doses of radiation.

Although the portfolio will focus on countermeasures for radiation and nuclear threats, the agreement also allows BARDA and the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to collaborate on the development of a portfolio of medical products.  These products will address areas such as bleeding caused by trauma, injuries caused by chemical and emerging threats and bacterial infections. The partnership builds on a 2017 portfolio agreement with Janssen Research & Development LLC, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson focused on pandemic influenza antiviral drugs and vaccines.

Rather than a standard contract, BARDA entered into the agreement using other transaction authority  granted to ASPR under the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006. Although not a contract, grant or cooperative agreement, other transaction authority provides a funding and collaboration vehicle to promote innovation in technology for advanced research and development.

This partnership is the seventh ASPR has formed under other transaction authority. The other partnerships also focus on developing new products to combat chemical, biological, radiation or nuclear threats, emerging infectious diseases or antimicrobial resistant infections.


HHS works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. The mission of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. Within ASPR, BARDA invests in the advanced research and development, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products needed to combat health security threats.

For more about ASPR and BARDA, visit www.phe.gov/aspr. To learn more about partnering with BARDA on advanced development of medical countermeasures – drugs, vaccines and devices for emergencies – visit www.medicalcountermeasures.gov.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: October 11, 2018

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