Investing in Janssen Pharmaceuticals Amid COVID-19 Vaccine Push

The FDA approved Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ application to conduct a clinical trial of its COVID vaccine candidate in the Philippines. Is Janssen Pharmaceuticals publicly traded?

Anuradha Garg - Author

Dec. 30 2020, Published 10:51 a.m. ET

is janssen pharmaceuticals publicly traded
Source: Janssen Pharmaceuticals Facebook, istock

On Dec. 29, the FDA said that it approved the application of Belgium-based Janssen Pharmaceuticals to conduct a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the Philippines. FDA director General Eric Domingo said, “We received three clinical trial applications, and we have already approved one: the clinical trial of Janssen.” Among the other two candidates, Clover Health has to submit some additional documents, while Sinovac requested to change its trial protocol and research design.

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Janssen is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Is Janssen Pharmaceuticals publicly traded?  

janssen pharmaceuticals covid  vaccine
Source: Janssen Pharmaceuticals Facebook
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Where is Janssen Pharmaceuticals located?

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a pharma company that's headquartered in Beerse, Belgium and owned by Johnson & Johnson. Janssen Pharmaceuticals was founded by Paul Janssen in 1953. Johnson & Johnson purchased Janssen in 1961 and made it a part of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, which has been now renamed to Janssen Research and Development.  

Janssen Pharmaceuticals' products

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is focused on treatments in six main therapeutic areas and advanced biotherapeutic and research platforms. The areas include Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension. The company makes products related to these diseases. 

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janssen covid vaccine development
Source: Pixabay

Currently, Janssen Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Johnson & Johnson's first phase 3 Janssen COVID-19 single-dose vaccine trial ENSEMBLE is fully enrolled with nearly 45,000 participants. Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate leverages its AdVac platform, which was also used to develop and manufacture vaccine candidates for Ebola, Zika, RSV, and HIV. 

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Janssen’s AdVac technology platform has been used to vaccinate more than 150,000 individuals in clinical studies across Janssen’s investigational vaccine programs. 

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Janssen expects the interim data from the ENSEMBLE trial to be available by the end of January 2021. If the data indicates that the vaccine is safe, the company could submit an emergency use authorization to FDA in February. 

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How to buy Janssen Pharmaceuticals stock

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a standalone entity and isn't publicly traded. It's a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Therefore, investors who want to invest in Janssen can buy Johnson & Johnson stock. 

Investing in Janssen Pharmaceuticals

In order to invest in Janssen Pharmaceuticals, investors get exposed to everything that Johnson & Johnson does. The company has three business units — pharmaceutical, medical devices, and consumer. While the business units provide diversification benefits, they also take away from a singular focus. For example, Johnson & Johnson's pharma division grew by 3.6 percent in 2019, while its medical device sales declined by 3.8 percent. 

Investors also need to consider the legal issues that Johnson & Johnson has been facing. The company is going through a lawsuit for its talcum-based baby powder, which reportedly is associated with users developing cancer. In May 2020, Johnson & Johnson said that it would pull its baby powder from shelves in the U.S. and Canada. The company has also faced claims that it played a part in the national opioid crisis. Johnson & Johnson has spent nearly $9 billion in litigation expenses since 2017. 


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