By Chris Rode, Scientific Director at Janssen Biotherapeutics Development
As the pharmaceutical industry continues to look for new and innovative ways to treat disease, some companies are putting more focus on how to prevent them. Vaccine development, while a long and complex process, has the potential to save millions of lives globally, especially in low-income countries where some of the world’s most at-risk populations exist. In 2017, Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., one of The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced promising results for an HIV prophylactic vaccine candidate containing immunogens delivered through a combination of an initial recombinant viral vector priming dose followed by a purified protein booster dose. The prime-boost regimen aims to produce stronger and longer-lasting immunity to HIV.1 As exciting as this prospect is, development of the production process for the purified protein booster presented several challenges to Janssen’s Biotherapeutics Development API-Large Molecule team. Securing a partner that could serve as an extension of the API development team became essential to reducing both risk and the time needed for delivery of the clinical supplies.