J&J to begin human trials of its experimental Coronavirus drug by September

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is an active follower of world affairs, technology, an avid reader, and loves to play table tennis in… read more.
on Mar 30, 2020
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
  • Johnson & Johson to begin human trials of its experimental Coronavirus vaccine by September.
  • J&J signs a £810 million deal with the U.S government to enhance its manufacturing capacity.
  • The company says vaccine is expected to be ready for emergency use in early 2021.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) announced its deal with the U.S government worth £810 million on Monday. The company said that the funding is directed at enhancing its manufacturing capacity of the new Coronavirus vaccine to over 1 billion doses.

The Coronavirus has so far infected over 740,000 people worldwide and caused more than 35,000 deaths. In the U.S, the count of infected is quickly reaching 150,000 while the death toll is recently crossed 2,500.

J&J Says Drug Will Be Ready For Emergency Use In Early 2021

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Johnson & Johnson also reiterated on Monday that it plans on starting human testing of its experimental vaccine against the flu-like virus by September 2020. The company wishes the drug to be ready for emergency use in the first quarter of 2021.

While it takes an average of 18 months for an experimental vaccine to be thoroughly tested and approved for manufacturing and distribution, J&J’s drug is expected to get an emergency use authorization by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) at the start of 2021.  

J&J is also contributing heavily to co-fund the research on development of an effective Coronavirus vaccine. The company in collaboration with the U.S-based Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has made an over £810 million investment on such research.

Abbott Laboratories had also announced last week that its new Coronavirus diagnostic test has received the emergency use authorization from the FDA. Pfizer’s test that detects the flu-like virus within five minutes is expected to be distributed to the healthcare units by the end of the current week.

J&J To Use The Ebola Vaccine Technologies For Coronavirus Drug

The Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm, Moderna Inc.’s drug for Coronavirus was used on a patient earlier in March to kick-start the early-stage human trials in search of manufacturing a viable vaccine against the flu-like virus.

J&J had accentuated in its announcement in January that it is relying on the same technologies to develop an experimental drug for Coronavirus that it used while working on its experimental vaccine for Ebola.

Following the announcement on Monday, J&J opened in the stock market on a positive note and posted a 1% gain within an hour. The stock has recovered part of its losses in the past few days. Currently trading at around £105 per share, the company, however, is still a little over 10% down in 2020 so far. J&J boasts a market cap £277.76 billion with a price to earnings ratio of 23.18.

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