The UK will buy potential Covid-19 vaccines from US drugmakers Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc, the companies said on Friday, bringing the total number of deals by the UK government to six as the race for shots heats up.
Johnson & Johnson said its Janssen Pharmaceutica unit will supply the UK government with its candidate known as Ad26.COV2.S with an initial sale of 30 million doses on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use.
The advance purchase agreement will also provide an option for an additional purchase of up to a 22 million doses, it said.
J&J said it has also agreed to collaborate with the UK government on a global Phase 3 trial to explore the two-dose regimen of its vaccine candidate.
It will run parallel to the Phase 3 trial investigating the single-dose programme.
No vaccine has yet proven to work, but more than 20 candidates are in clinical trials.