For J&J, Crucell ops quality an acquisition bonus

Drug giant Johnson & Johnson says it intends to maintain the existing facilities of Crucell, which it has reached an agreement to acquire, and make them the center for vaccines within the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical group. Plans for the Dutch infectious-disease fighter also call for maintaining current employment levels.

In the announcement, J&J's pharma R&D head Paul Stoffels trumpets the "operational excellence in manufacturing and supply chain" that has made Crucell a reliable vaccine supplier. The question becomes how that excellence will be maintained, and what Crucell's role will be as the pharma group's vaccine center, in light of the operations quality and supply chain overhaul now underway at J&J and extending to all 250 of its operating units.

In testimony before Congress last week, CEO Bill Weldon referred to the organizational restructuring of quality and operations responsibilities across Johnson & Johnson, aimed at providing "clear and effective oversight of our companies' operations." The reorganization includes "new chief quality officers for each of our three business segments--consumer, pharmaceutical and medical devices." These officers report to chief quality officer, corporate VP for supply chain operations Ajit Shetty, who reports to Weldon.

- here's the Crucell announcement
- see Weldon's testimony