Johnson & Johnson expects to report results from the eagerly-anticipated clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine next week, the US pharmaceutical’s chief financial officer told CNBC Tuesday.
The company would be expected to apply for an emergency approval for its single-dose shot at the same time, and would likely become the third authorized vaccine in the US soon after that.
“We plan to report out by early next week in terms of our results,” said Joseph Wolk.
He added that the phase 3 study of 45,000 people across 80 countries potentially included cases of new strains identified in South Africa and Brazil.
“In terms of supply we’re very confident and on track to meet all of our commitments,” he added.
These include 100 million doses to the US by the end of June, about 200 million doses by the end of the year to the EU with shipments starting in April, and 200 million doses to developing countries that will begin shipping in the second half of the year.
The addition of an extra vaccine comes as the US looks to accelerate its rate of immunization, with new President Joe Biden now targeting 1.5 million shots a day.
Biden announced the new goal Monday, which is up from his earlier policy of 100 million shots within the first 100 days of his administration.
Like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the J&J shot delivers genetic instructions for human cells to create a specific protein of the coronavirus, in order to train the immune system for the live virus.
The Pfizer and Moderna use single-stranded RNA molecules, while the J&J vaccine deploys double-stranded DNA that gets converted to RNA inside human cells, in order to achieve the same goal.
The DNA piggybacks a ride on a modified, non-replicating version of a common-cold causing adenovirus. This virus acts as a vehicle to deliver genetic cargo into the nucleus of human cells.
The AstraZeneca, Sputnik and CanSino vaccines all use a similar approach, referred to as “adenoviral vector vaccines.”
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