J&J to close down Leiden based vaccination unit Janssen

The Janssen headquarters in Leiden. Photo: Bic via Wikimedia Commons

Belgian pharmaceuticals company Janssen, which is part of the Johnson & Johnson group, is planning to close most of its infectious diseases and vaccine development unit in Leiden.

Janssen has a workforce of 2,500 in Leiden and it is unclear, as yet, how many jobs will be affected by the closure which still needs to be approved by the works council. 

J&J wants the unit to focus more on new treatment methods for cancer and heart and artery disease, the Telegraaf said on Wednesday. 

Janssen hit the headlines during the coronavirus pandemic as the developer of a Covid vaccine that required one injection and was said to work quickly. It led to health minister Hugo de Jonge’s catchphrase “dansen met Janssen” to promote vaccinations to youngsters. 

In practice, however, the vaccine did not take effect immediately and there was a peak in coronavirus infections

Its use in the Netherlands was eventually phased out.  

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