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Johnson & Johnson has signed a US $ 100 million coronavirus vaccine contract for greater than $ 1 billion

A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Johnson & Johnson announced on Wednesday that the company will develop and deliver 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the United States worth more than $ 1 billion.

The company's experimental vaccine is currently in early human studies and is expected to begin late human studies in September. The deal gives the U.S. the opportunity to order another 200 million cans, according to the announcement.

"We are increasing production in the United States and worldwide to provide a SARS CoV-2 vaccine for emergency use," said Dr. Paul Stoffels, scientific director at Johnson & Johnson, in a statement.

The United States had previously allocated $ 456 million to develop its vaccine earlier this year. J&J said its goal is to deliver more than 1 billion cans worldwide by 2021.

J&J is one of the few companies to have an agreement with the United States to supply their potential coronavirus vaccine after federal approval. The United States announced on Friday that it would pay drug manufacturers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline up to $ 2.1 billion to develop and deliver 100 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine.

The United States also announced that it would pay Pfizer and the biotech company BioNTech $ 1.95 billion to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine if it proved safe and effective the companies in late July.

J & J's vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S, uses the same technology it used to manufacture its experimental Ebola vaccine, which was made available to people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in late 2019.

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