Reig Jofre to mass produce the Janssen coronavirus vaccine in Catalonia

The Catalan laboratories close a deal for production and packaging in their new plant

The Catalan laboratories Reig Jofre have closed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, of Johnson & Johnson, for the technological transference of the production of its candidate vaccine against covid-19 when it is approved, according to a statement made through the Spanish stock exchange.

According to the agreement, Reig Jofre will be responsible for the formulation and packaging of the vaccine candidate, which will be distributed by Janssen. To do this, the Catalan laboratory has a new plant that will come into operation in the first quarter of 2021, which has involved an investment of €30m. To produce the vaccine, additional investment will be required at the plant, which the company has not detailed, but which has already begun and will guarantee compliance with the biosafety levels and requirements for the vaccine.

Reig Jofre, based in Sant Joan Despí, has extensive experience in manufacturing sterile injectable products and ensures that its new state-of-the-art plant creates a unique opportunity to contribute to the rapid and safe supply of the vaccine.

Stock market surge

From the very beginning, Reig Jofre Laboratories were candidates for the production of the vaccine, according to stock market investors. In May, the value of the company's shares shot up by 25% in a single day when the first information about the possibility of it manufacturing the vaccine appeared.

This Tuesday, after the agreement with Janssen was announced, Reig Jofre's shares shot up again on the stock exchange. Shortly after the market opened at half past nine in the morning, Reig Jofre shares were trading at €4.36, up more than 15%.

The agreement comes after months of evaluation and technical work by the technology transfer, production and operation teams, which will allow the production of the first batches of this vaccine candidate once it is approved by the health authorities.

The new Reig Jofre plant will enable it to triple its production capacity and increase energy efficiency. The plant integrates state-of-the-art isolator technology and automated processes that guarantee the quality and safety of aseptic production at the highest level.

The investment in this new plant was already designed to provide additional capacity to meet the growing demand for its own products, to be able to develop new international markets and to increase manufacturing services for third parties, according to the company.

Reig Jofre's CEO, Ignasi Biosca, is proud that the company's effort to invest in technology and industrial capacity will contribute to the availability of a vaccine against covid-19 in a large number of countries. "Having been chosen by Janssen as one of its production partners for the Ad26.COV2-S vaccine candidate will give Reig Jofre the opportunity to demonstrate the strategic value of having a strong competitive and technologically advanced industry to overcome a critical situation such as the current one," he said.

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