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 pre-clinical 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.
Johnson & Johnson is competing against a number of other companies in the race for a vaccine, and while other firms have been faster in development, Johnson & Johnson’s ability to produce an immune response in a single dose could give it an advantage in rolling out a vaccine.
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 world.