The first experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.is on track to begin a huge study next month to prove if it really can fend off the coronavirus, while hard-hit Brazil is testing a different shot from China.
There are now no U.S. approved treatments or vaccines for the virus. Anthony Fauci, head of the NIAID, said at BIO's digital conference Tuesday he expects "more than one" vaccine to succeed. This would allow J&J to take part in the clinical trials programme planned by the U.S. government that aims to find a vaccine by the year end.
Last March, J&J signed deals with the United States government to create enough manufacturing capacity to produce more than 1 billion doses of its vaccine through 2021, even before it has evidence that it works.
The full details of that study aren't available yet; that will soon be published by Moderna's collaborators, a team of scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He added that the company is 'working hard to bring it back to the end of the year'. And that's where these trials are so unpredictable, ' he said referring to the percentage of new cases occurring in the population at the time.
Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that the vaccine has performed so well in preclinical tests that the partners were able to push up the schedule to begin testing it in healthy volunteers.
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Meanwhile, in China, employees of some large state-run companies are being given the option to get inoculated with two coronavirus vaccines now in development.
If the incidence is low, 'we will complement that with global sites to make sure that we reach enough endpoints quickly to prove the vaccine works, ' Stoffels said.
British-based drugmakers AstraZeneca AZN.L and GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L , France's Sanofi SASY.PA , and US players Pfizer PFE.N , Novavax NVAX.O , Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N and Moderna MRNA.O are among companies trialling vaccines.
J&J is utilizing the same technology used to make its Ebola vaccine, which won European regulatory approval late last month.
S, recombinant, emerged from vaccine constructs created and tested by J&J with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), part of Harvard Medical School, using Janssen's AdVac® and PER.C6® vaccine technology platforms, designed for accelerated vaccine development.
While most experts in communicable diseases had earlier expected the first Covid-19 vaccine to be rolled out in 18 months, the more optimistic ones now believe a couple of hundred million doses of the vaccine could be produced as early as this year-end.