(Lund, November 29, 2021) On 23 November Ziccum announced it was extending its pilot evaluation study agreement with Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., the vaccine division of Johnson & Johnson, following positive results. Now Ziccum CEO Göran Conradson discusses what the announcement means for Ziccum, and how Covid-19 is accelerating vaccine innovation.
Janssen is an innovative vaccine company with an innovative pipeline. Its adenovirus platform has been successfully used for its Covid-19 vaccine, Ebola vaccine, now licensed in Europe, and its new RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine in Phase 3 clinical trials. How important has that innovation been in Janssen’s decision to extend its pilot evaluation study with Ziccum?
GÖRAN CONRADSON: Hugely important –Janssen recognizes how much Covid-19 has accelerated vaccine innovation, including vaccine formulation. Of course, ultimately, it’s results that count, so we’re pleased that LaminarPace has performed well, giving us the opportunity to extend the collaboration and move on.
If this stage of the project is successful what is the next step?
GÖRAN CONRADSON: Obviously we would hope that if successful it will mean we continue and intensify discussions with Janssen around taking ambient air-drying further.
The adenovirus vaccine platform is one of the small group of key leading Vaccine Platforms that are currently being used in several approved Covid-19 vaccines. Does this mean that Ziccum is moving towards focusing more on dry formulation for Covid-19 vaccines?
GÖRAN CONRADSON: The adenovirus platform is just that, a platform – it’s being used for Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine, Ebola vaccine and its new RSV vaccine and could potentially be used for many other vaccines too. We’re convinced that our offering can transform all vaccine manufacture and development worldwide – with high yield and thermostability offering major economic and supply chain benefits to vaccine manufacturers and their customers. Remember – 60% worldwide still remain unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 – even though 6.7 billion doses have already been administered. At the same time 2.7 billion people still lack access to all vaccines specifically due to cold chain-related logistics problems and supply chains. We believe ambient air drying is the key to cracking the cold chain and closing that gap. And we currently also see that Covid-19 is driving innovation in our industry at a higher pace than ever before.