Johnson & Johnson said Monday it made a $1 billion deal with the U.S. agency Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to co-fund vaccine research, expanding a previous collaboration.

Both J & J and BARDA have committed $1 billion of investment for vaccine research to create enough manufacturing capacity for more than 1 billion doses of a vaccine it is testing to fight the new coronavirus that has killed more than 34,000 people around the world.

Johnson and Johnson said that it had selected its own lead vaccine candidate and would start human testing of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by September, if not earlier, with an eye on having it ready for emergency use in early 2021, the drugmaker said Monday.

J&J said that the first batches of a vaccine could be available under an emergency use authorization in early 2021, far quicker than the typical 18 month period that it takes for vaccines to be tested, approved and then manufactured.

Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, was established to aid in securing our nation from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats, as well as from pandemic influenza (PI) and emerging infectious diseases (EID). 

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