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This will be the largest ever test so far on the coronavirus vaccine by any pharmaceutical giant. “We are using epidemiology and modeling data to predict and plan where our studies should take place and expect that to be finalized soon,” said Johnson & Johnson.
On Thursday, August 20, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) confirmed conducting its largest and late-stage of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in September. The stage-three clinical trial will involve 60,000 people aged 18 and above. Besides, the trial will happen at over 180 locations across the U.S. and abroad.
Meanwhile, JNJ stock is 0.45% up in the pre-market, trading at $152.10. Yesterday, it closed with a 0.68% rise, at $151.42.
The pharmaceutical giant said that it will randomly select the participant and give them a dose of a potential vaccine or a placebo. The company is confident that the trial will offer crucial details to gauge whether it’s safe and effective. Speaking to CNBC, J&J spokesperson Jake Sargent said:
“Our Phase 3 program is intended to be as robust as possible, could include up to 60,000 participants and will be conducted in places with high incidence rates. We are using epidemiology and modeling data to predict and plan where our studies should take place and expect that to be finalized soon.”
So far the coronavirus pandemic has infected over 22.4 million people worldwide and killed over 788,500. As per WHO, there are currently 160 vaccines under development with 30 in clinical trials. J&J is one of those several companies in the race to develop a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
Many experts and public health officials say that world leaders will need a number of drugs and vaccines to defeat the virus. J&J’s testing for the Coronavirus vaccine would be the largest testing yet. Other potential contenders like Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) and Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) started their late-stage trials last month. These trials would include nearly 30,000 participants.
Johnson & Johnson Agreement with the U.S. Government on Vaccine
Earlier this month, J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies entered an agreement with the U.S. Government for large scale manufacturing and delivery of in the U.S. of 100 million doses of Janssen’s SARS-CoV-2 investigational vaccine. The vaccine has received approval or Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson, said:
“Johnson & Johnson’s global team of experts has worked tirelessly alongside BARDA and scientific partners to pursue a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that can help to stop the spread of COVID-19. We greatly appreciate the U.S. government’s confidence in, and support for, our R&D platform and efforts and the scalability of our vaccine technology. We are scaling up production in the U.S. and worldwide to deliver a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for emergency use.”
Thus, before the vaccine arrives in the market, J&J is working on an intermediary that can help early-stage patients recover fast and quick.