Contract Manufacturer Emergent Says J&J Breached Vaccine Contract

Contract Manufacturer Emergent Says J&J Breached Vaccine Contract
The Johnson & Johnson logo on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on May 29, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Contract manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions Inc. said on Monday U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson had breached an agreement by failing to buy the minimum quantity of COVID-19 vaccines made by the company.

Emergent said J&J had failed to provide required forecasts for the amount of vaccines it needed and had wound down the agreement instead of fulfilling minimum requirements.

If the agreement is terminated, Emergent said J&J would owe it roughly $125 million to $420 million.

J&J did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine has been stalled in the United States as the Food and Drug Administration in May had significantly restricted its use due to safety concerns.

J&J has also pulled its COVID-19 vaccine sales forecast for the year due to a supply glut led by low demand globally.

Manufacturing at Emergent’s Baltimore plant was briefly halted last year after a discovery that ingredients from AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, also being produced there at that time, contaminated a batch of J&J’s vaccines.

By Manas Mishra