Johnson & Johnson, U.S. government expand pact to support next phase of COVID-19 vaccine R&D

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Vials and medical syringe are seen in front of J&J logo in this illustration
Vials and medical syringe are seen in front of J&J logo in this illustration

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have expanded an agreement to support the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine candidate research and development, the company said on Saturday.

Under the agreement the company will commit approximately $604 million and the HHS Department's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will commit about $454 million to support the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE trial evaluating Janssen's investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate as a single dose in up to 60,000 volunteers worldwide, the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Lewis)