Johnson & Johnson to begin human trials for potential COVID-19 vaccine

James Marshall
June 12, 2020

The NIH intends to start a phase 3 trial of Moderna's vaccine in July, followed by an August trial of AstraZeneca's vaccine and a September study of Johnson & Johnson's shot, a US government researcher told the newspaper.

The vaccine, known as mRNA-1273, will be given in the 100 microgram dose level in the trial, which is being done in conjunction with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Based on the results of the Phase 1 study, Moderna said it has zeroed in on 100 micrograms as the optimal dose level to maximize response while minimizing adverse reactions.

When it comes to developing a vaccine against COVID-19, Fauci stressed he is sure there will be "more than one winner" as the race to find a vaccine for COVID-19 is well underway worldwide. A Moderna representative confirmed the phase 3 plan to the Journal, and an AstraZeneca spokesperson said the company's recent contract with the USA government includes a late-stage test, but the company didn't confirm timing. The late-stage trial will include 30,000 participants and is expected to begin in July.

Moderna's Early, Midstage Coronavirus Update: For the early- and mid-stage studies that are ongoing, Moderna said the original cohorts in the Phase 1 study are in long-term follow-up and enrollment is complete in nine of the 12 cohorts that were subsequently added. US researchers plan to run phase 3 trials of vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The experimental vaccine is one of five that the Trump administration has said is the most likely to succeed.

Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that the vaccine has performed so well in preclinical tests that the partners were able to push up the schedule to begin testing it in healthy volunteers.

MRNA Price Action: At last check, Moderna shares were trading 4.73% higher at $62.91.

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