Join Now

Utah Life Sciences News & Events

Johnson & Johnson to Begin COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials in Humans Next Week

July 17, 2020

Last month, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced that its Phase 1/2a in-human clinical trial of its potential COVID-19 vaccine was expected to begin in July – instead of September as initially scheduled.

On Thursday, as reported by Fierce Pharma, J&J chief scientific officer Paul Stoffels confirmed the accelerated timeline, saying that the company has seen “strong” preclinical data, and is now ready to kick off human testing next week. Stoffels also said that the company could have data by year’s end, or early 2021.

The trial will enroll adults aged 18 to 55 years, as well as adults aged 65 years and older, beginning in Belgium next week, and open to U.S. participants the following week. 

In its June announcement, J&J noted that as the company progresses the clinical development of its investigational vaccine, it continues to increase manufacturing capacity. J&J anticipates the first batches of a COVID-19 vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021, and has committed to the goal of supplying more than one billion doses globally through the course of next year.

“J&J is leaving no stone unturned to develop a vaccine,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, president and CEO of BioUtah. “We applaud their work. Utah’s growing life sciences industry considers J&J a partner in innovation, as companies large and small fight this pandemic.”

Not only has J&J committed to ensure vaccine access to patients around the world, but the company plans to provide the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis. In April, the Financial Times profiled J&J CEO Alex Gorsky about the company’s work on a potential COVID-19 vaccine and the decision to offer it on a non-profit basis.

J&J’s efforts to produce a safe and effective vaccine are enhanced by a collaboration between the company and HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).