Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus Vaccine Protects Monkeys, Study Finds
It’s the second study in a week to report promising results in monkeys for a vaccine candidate.
An experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson protected monkeys from infection in a new study. It is the second vaccine candidate to show promising results in monkeys this week.
The company recently began a clinical trial in Europe and the United States to test its vaccine in people. It is one of more than 30 human trials for coronavirus vaccines underway across the world.
But until these trials are complete — which will probably take several months — the monkey data offers the best clues to whether the vaccines will work.
“This week has been good — now we have two vaccines that work in monkeys,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University who was not involved in the studies. “It’s nice to be upbeat for a change.”
But she cautioned that the new results shouldn’t be used to rush large-scale trials in humans. “We just can’t take shortcuts,” she said.
Unlike many other vaccines in development that might require two injections, the Johnson & Johnson candidate shielded the monkeys with just one dose, according to a study published on Thursday in Nature.
“It’s a very reassuring level of protection we saw,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, a virologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a co-author of the new study.
The study comes just two days after a similar one was published on a vaccine tested by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health.
Johnson & Johnson’s single shot coronavirus vaccine has begun human trials
Johnson & Johnson’s experimental coronavirus vaccine entered human trials this month after an early study showed it helped protect a group of primates with a single shot.
According to a study published in the medical journal Nature, all of the animals that had been exposed to the pandemic six weeks after the injection were immune except for one, which showed only low levels of the virus. The results prompted the health care firm to begin human trials last week in Belgium and earlier this week in the U.S.
“We are excited to see these preclinical data because they show our SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate generated a strong antibody response and provided protection with a single dose,” said Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson’s chief scientific officer. “The findings give us confidence as we progress our vaccine development and upscale manufacturing in parallel … .”
The company said it is looking to begin the last phase of tests in September and that 1,045 people will participate in the trial.
The company did not announce a predicted price for its shot but said it is ramping up manufacturing to try to provide over 1 billion doses to people around the wo