Johnson & Johnson takes lead in COVID-19 cure

The drug company, Johnson & Johnson recently announced that it had made progress on a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and that the product could be ready in early 2021.

The New Brunswick, N.J., company selected a lead candidate for the vaccine from the constructs it had been working on, and said human trials would begin by September at the latest. The company had said in February it expected trials to begin in eight to 12 months.

J&J said it could get approval under an emergency-use authorization to make the vaccine widely available early next year. The company said it has also chosen two back-up constructs in case the lead candidate falters.

The company said the vaccine, if successful, would be affordable and would be sold on a not-for-profit basis.

Johnson & Johnson is one of many companies at work on a vaccine for the disease, which has become a global health crisis. Moderna Inc. has begun human trials for a vaccine using a novel approach that relies on the virus’s messenger RNA, a type of genetic material. Sanofi, a French biotech company, has begun work on a similar approach.

Johnson & Johnson said it would try to scale its global manufacturing capabilities to make more than 1 billion doses of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of next year. It said it is also working with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to expand its research into a treatment for Covid-19.

-Courtesy by The Wall Street Journal

March 31, 2020

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