Johnson & Johnson to start human trials for coronavirus vaccine in late July, earlier than expected

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Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that its early-stage human trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine will begin in the second half of July, earlier than planned for September.”Based on the preclinical data we have seen so far and interactions with regulatory authorities, we have been able to further accelerate the clinical development of our experimental SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S,” J&J chief scientist Paul Stoffels said in a press release.

The company started developing a Covid-19 vaccine in January.

It uses the same technologies it used to manufacture its experimental vaccine against the Ebola virus, which was supplied to the inhabitants of the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the end of 2019. It consists in combing the genetic material of the coronavirus with a modified adenovirus known for cause human colds.

J&J said earlier this year that if the vaccine worked well and was safe, it could produce 600 to 900 million doses by April 2021. The company said on Wednesday that it was committed to providing more than a billion doses worldwide during 2021, provided the vaccine is safe and effective.

J&J’s first trial will test its vaccine on 1,045 healthy adults aged 18 to 55 as well as adults aged 65 and over. It will take place in the United States and Belgium.

J&J’s effort is one of many works on a potential vaccine to prevent Covid-19, which has sickened more than 7.2 million people worldwide and killed at least 411,879, according to data compiled by l ‘Johns Hopkins University.

There are at least 124 Covid-19 vaccines in development as of June 2, according to the World Health Organization. At least 10 of them are already in clinical trials.

The National Institutes of Health has accelerated work with biotechnology company Moderna on a potential vaccine to prevent Covid-19.

Moderna plans to enroll approximately 30,000 people at the start of a phase III trial in July, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

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