J&J com­mits to Ebola vac­cine re­search and doc­tor train­ing pro­gram

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CAI XIAO caix­iao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

John­son & John­son, the US phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, med­i­cal de­vices and con­sumer prod­ucts gi­ant, is de­vel­op­ing a pre­ven­tive Ebola vac­cine and of­fer­ing funds and train­ing to Chi­nese doc­tors work­ing in ar­eas most af­fected by the dis­ease.

More than 1,000 Chi­nese med­i­cal work­ers have been work­ing or will be dis­patched to ar­eas af­fected by the out­break.

“John­son & John­son is hon­ored to par­tic­i­pate in th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties to show our re­spect to the Chi­nese doc­tors, and we will con­tinue to give them pro­fes­sional ser­vices and other support,” said Jesse Wu, chair­man of John­son & John­son China.

The company re­cently started the first phase of hu­man clin­i­cal tri­als for the pre­ven­tive vac­cine. J&J first started re­search into a pre­ven­tive Ebola vac­cine in 2002, and in­vested a fur­ther $200 mil­lion in that work in Oc­to­ber.

It has so far pro­duced more than 400,000 doses of the vac­cine for use in largescale clin­i­cal tri­als.

A to­tal of 2 mil­lion doses will be avail­able through­out 2015, with the abil­ity to quickly scale that up to 5 mil­lion doses if re­quired over the next 12 to 18 months.

The company is also pro­vid­ing Chi­nese doc­tors and nurses in Africa with pro­fes­sional train­ing on fight­ing the dis­ease, and on­line ad­vice to teams work­ing in var­i­ous coun­tries.

J&J is cur­rently spon­sor­ing a na­tional cam­paign in China to high­light doc­tors work­ing on for­eign aid pro­grams.

Or­ga­niz­ers in­clude the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion and the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s As­so­ci­a­tion for Friend­ship with For­eign Coun­tries.

Xie Yuan, vice-pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion, said the cam­paign is aimed at show­cas­ing out­stand­ing med­i­cal aid work by in­di­vid­u­als and groups.

It will last for three months with the best work cho­sen through a com­mit­tee of ex­perts and onine vot­ing by the pub­lic. The fi­nal re­sult will be re­leased at an awards cer­e­mony onMarch 24.

The Ebola cri­sis started in West Africa last year. More than 20,000 peo­ple are be­lieved to have been in­fected by the virus and at least 7,840 had died by the end of De­cem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the WorldHealth Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Since en­ter­ing the Chi­nese mar­ket in 1985, J&J has sup­ported nu­mer­ous pub­lic wel­fare ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing chil­dren’s safety ed­u­ca­tion, aid­ing the treat­ment of chil­dren with cleft palates, the health ed­u­ca­tion of mi­grant work­ers’ chil­dren, and doc­tor train­ing in Western China.

Alex Gorsky, the company’s CEO, said in Novem­ber that it planned to fo­cus on lung can­cer re­search and de­vel­op­ment in China by set­ting up an Asia in­no­va­tion cen­ter in Shang­hai.

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