Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Enters Phase Three Trial Testing


Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it has begun its phase three trial testing its potential coronavirus vaccine. J&J is in fact, the latest manufacturer to enter phase three trial, after Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, all of which form part of the EU’s Vaccine Plan.

The trial will enroll up to 60,000 adult volunteers across 215 locations in the U.S. and other countries, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Participants will be randomly selected to receive a dose of the potential vaccine or a placebo, according to details of the trial, which will determine whether the vaccine is safe and effective.



J&J, whose Janssen subsidiary is based in Belgium, has said it is using the same technologies it used to develop its experimental Ebola vaccine. It involves combing genetic material from the coronavirus with a modified adenovirus that is known to cause common colds in humans.

Preclinical studies have shown J&J’s potential Covid-19 vaccine can generate a promising response in nonhuman primates and hamsters.



Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that early-stage trial data, which will be released “imminently,” shows the immune response in humans was “comparable to animals, which were protected.” He also said the vaccine appeared to be well-tolerated, with symptoms such as fever resolving within 48 hours.

He said it will likely take six weeks to two months to reach 60,000 participants, allowing J&J to recruit a diverse cohort. The trial will include those with and without other ailments associated with an increased risk for progression to severe Covid-19, and will aim to enroll participants in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the United States.


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