J&J 'very confident' in Covid-19 vaccine, eyes quick resolution

Johnson & Johnson logo

In this file photo taken on August 28, 2019 the entry sign to the Johnson & Johnson campus shows their logo in Irvine, California. 

Photo credit: Mark Ralston | AFP

New York,

Johnson & Johnson remains "very confident" in its Covid-19 vaccine and hopeful for a quick resolution from regulators over its status, a top executive said Tuesday.

"We remain very confident and very hopeful that the benefit-risk profile will play out," J&J Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk told CNBC.

The comments came ahead of a decision expected later Tuesday from Europe's drug regulator on the safety of the single-shot inoculation.

US pandemic adviser Anthony Fauci said the United States is likely to announce its decision by Friday.

Health authorities in the United States on April 14 recommended a pause on the vaccine following six instances of severe blood clots out of nearly seven million Americans who received the vaccine.

The company hopes "very shortly ... perhaps as early as the end of this week, to have some resolution with how we are going to proceed," Wolk said.

Asked if the US decision to suspend the program hindered public confidence in vaccines, Wolk said "I would hope that at the end of the week, the population in general will feel more confident in taking the vaccine."

Financial results

The comments came as J&J released first-quarter results.

An earnings press release did not elaborate on vaccine approval issues, but said the vaccine generated $100 million in revenues in the United States during the period. J&J is selling the vaccine at cost.

J&J has also encountered production problems at a Baltimore, Maryland factory managed by Emergent BioSolutions.

The Food and Drug Administration has suspended production in the plant pending a review of the facility.

Wolk said J&J expects to be "in a position to meet our contract commitments, not just here in the US but across the globe" following the FDA review.