Johnson & Johnson wants to shutter Leiden vaccine lab; cut jobs
The Leiden pharmaceutical company Janssen intends to largely close its vaccine department because the American parent company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) wants to focus more on other, new treatment methods. Exactly how the company wants to tackle this and how many jobs are at risk has not yet been decided, a spokesperson confirmed after reporting by De Telegraaf. She stressed that the plans still have to go through the works council, among other things.
The company in Leiden employs approximately 2,500 people. A quarter of them are part of the infectious diseases and vaccines department that is at stake now. Several research programs also belong to this department. In any case, Janssen wants to continue with a program that seeks protection against the infectious E.coli bacteria. It also intends to focus more on therapies where the most significant impact on patients is expected. That includes oncology and the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
Jannsen gained notoriety during the coronavirus pandemic because it developed its own coronavirus vaccine. A major advantage of the vaccine was that it only required one shot to offer protection. In 2021, then coronavirus minister Hugo de Jonge promoted the vaccine with the slogan “Dance with Janssen.” Many young people responded. For example, they were allowed to go to catering establishments a day after their injection. But, in the following weeks, that led to many coronavirus infections because the vaccine only worked optimally two weeks after the injection.
It later emerged that the Janssen vaccine could also cause various side effects, including thrombosis. That did not do the vaccine’s image any good. At a certain point, the Netherlands stopped using the Janssen vaccine.
Reporting by ANP